21 June 2011
Strikes by workers at seven Suez Canal Authority companies are continuing for their eighth consecutive day as their demands remain unmet.
On Tuesday morning, protesters marched through the streets of Ismailiya holding an open casket, inside of which was an effigy inscribed with the words 'the late Fadel'. The crowd hung the effigy from a bridge at the end of their march.
Ahmed Fadel is the CEO of the Suez Canal Authority, facing a baptism of fire for not responding to protesters’ demands.
Workers began protesting on 3 April, demanding they receive wages equivalent to those who work for the Suez Canal Authority itself. Interim Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has already given orders to the head of the Authority to resolve the situation.
Employees are demanding a 40 per cent increase in basic salary, a 7 per cent hike in bonus payments and larger meal allowances.
Workers claim they were promised raises in pay and bonuses by Fadel on 19 April but he apparently hasn not lived up to his word.
On Monday, workers blocked road number 6 In Ismailiya in an expression of discontent with media reports which claimed the strike was disbanded on Sunday.
Main canal operations are still functioning despite disruptions to supporting services. The Suez Canal is one Egypt's main foreign currency earners, generating $4.5 billion in 2009-2010.