Workers in the Fayoum Sugar Company are continuing their open-ended strike, which began last week.
The workers are protesting against late payments and what they called “repressive measures being carried out by the governor of Fayoum”. According to a statement by the workers, Governor Gamal Samy has intervened in the conflict and sided with the administration against the workers.
Samy was attempting to obtain sugar at a deflated price, according to the workers. Samy’s office was contacted several times for comment, but no one was available for a statement.
The workers also claim that the administration filed police reports against three workers, which led to their arrest. On Saturday, the workers were released.
They demanded that they receive the same economic privileges as other sugar production companies, such as raises and permanent contracted employment.
The factory includes 900 workers and technicians.
Several of them expressed dissatisfaction with not having meal vouchers and compensation for the dangers they face in their work. They also protested the factory’s distribution strategy.
Other escalatory demands included sacking the financial manger who allegedly circulated false information about the company’s profits.
The Fayoum governorate had previously distributed 50 tonnes of subsidised sugar under the supervision of governor Samy, at a price of EGP 7 per 1 kg pack.
In recent weeks, sugar has disappeared from the shelves at stores and markets. The shortage has resulted in a price hike from EGP 5 per kilogramme to EGP 12-19 per kilogramme.
The sugar crisis was further compounded when private companies halted their import operations as the commodity price went up in the international market, especially in light of the nation’s shortage of US dollar reserves.