Strikes hit Egyptian power plant construction
Operations at Egypt's Ain Sokhna, North Giza and Banha power plants have been halted because of labour protests by workers demanding permanent employment and higher wages, said ministry of electricity spokesperson Aktham Abu El-Ela.
The three plants in Ain Sokhna, Suez, North Giza near Cairo, and Banha in north-eastern Egypt, are currently under construction.
Construction workers at a new state-owned power station in the city of Ain Sokhna on Egypt's Red Sea coast maintained their strike for the second day in a row, after they were successfully able to halt all building activity and block the plant's main entrances, said labour sources.
"Building activity at the plant came to a complete halt starting yesterday morning. So far the administration has not responded to the legitimate demands of the workers and that is why they continued to block the plant's entrances," Seood Ahmed, Suez-based trade unionist and labour activist, told Ahram Online.
The workers, who are currently employed by different subcontracting companies, demand permanent employment contracts at the plant and reject the employment of individuals coming from other governorates than Suez.
Officials from the state-owned East Delta Electricity Holding Company (EDEHC) which is currently administering the construction of the Ain Sockna plant, have said that meeting workers' demands will take place in time.
Workers at the Banha and Giza power plants demanded higher wages and permanent employment contracts, and escalated their action by barricading the plants entrances, according to Abu El-Ela.
"The ministry of electricity warns workers against resorting to violent measures, as this is far from peaceful demonstrations, and halting construction will affect the country's electricity network and only fellow citizens will be disadvantaged," Abu El-Ela said.
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