Supporting Egypt Post workers
17th May 2012
CWU general secretary Billy Hayes hand delivered a
letter to the Egyptian Embassy in London on Wednesday to highlight
the problems which Egyptian postal workers are facing in getting
their agreed holidays.
Workers at Egypt Post have taken several days of strike action
following the company's refusal to implement an agreement
giving them Fridays and Saturdays off. The agreement was struck in
September after national industrial action, with the company
promising to provide a two-day weekend for employees beginning in
January 2012. Though this was implemented, Egypt Post is now trying
to force workers back to work on Saturdays, leading postal workers
to stage a number of walkouts and now a full scale strike.
UNI Global - the international umbrella union for postal workers
- has information showing that Egypt Post responded to strike
action by suspending several union reps and the situation has not
Billy Hayes said: "As an affiliate of UNI
global and as a union with postal workers, we're urging the
Egyptian government to work with independent postal unions in Egypt
to foster secure and decent work for postal workers. It's
important to show solidarity with our fellow trade unionists in
Egypt Post who are being badly treated."
Accompanying Billy (left) to the embassy were Stephen
DeMatteo (centre), UNI Global's Deputy Head of Department, and
Sarah Ryan (right), Organising and Policy Coordinator at UNI. The
delegation had the opportunity to present their concerns to a
diplomat at the Egyptian Embassy and to explain the worrying
information that UNI had received from Egyptian postal unions about
the treatment of those taking strike action.
Stephen DeMatteo commented: "The diplomat
has assured us that he will personally deliver our letter to the
Egyptian Ambassador today. He took on board our concerns and asked
several questions which was encouraging. It was certainly a good
opportunity to raise the concerns of Egyptian postal workers and
we're very grateful to Billy Hayes for taking time to make
representations on behalf of UNI Global."
"Meeting the diplomat was an important part of UNI's
campaign to support members of the independent Egyptian postal
union who are struggling to maintain a two-day weekend with
Saturdays off and no penalty in compensation, as per the signed
agreement" said Sarah Ryan. "It was
really positive that members of the embassy were prepared to talk
to us about our concerns and we're very pleased with the
assurances we received."
Read Billy's letter in full.