Egypt: MENA news agency journalists strike for better pay

Striking workers at the Middle East News Agency in Cairo 12 September 2012
picture by David Paenson

David Paenson in Cairo

This afternoon crossed Tahrir Square, but it was quite empty. Then this surprise: The first strike day of employees of state run Middle East News Agency. I spoke to one of the strike organizers, Sherif Eltokhey. MENA, the Egyptian equivalent of Reuters, employs 1200
journalists spread around the world. 500 work at the center in Cairo. MENA makes millions selling news. But to its own workforce who are only demanding fulfilment of Egypt’s new president’s promise of a proper adjustment to inflation after years of wage restraint, the
company says: “We have no money.” On this first strike day only 50 employees took part, but they hope to win over the other workers in the course of the coming days. “I’m not striking just for myself, it’s for all of us”, Sherif says. “The teachers’ strike won a 100 per cent pay increase. But that’s not enough. That’s why they’re continuing their strike action. You can’t survive without money. We are demanding a minimum wage of 3000 Egyptian Pounds (around 300 Pounds Sterling). Please pray for us and spread the word around.”

One thought on “Egypt: MENA news agency journalists strike for better pay

  1. solidarity to the Egyptian sisters and brothers in their struggle. Anton McCabe – Derry and North West Ireland branch, National Union of Journalists

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