Egypt’s Tax Collectors on strike

11 Aug 2009, written by

Tax collectors denounce crackdown on their free union by 3arabawy - صَحـَـفي مِصـْـري

Real Estate Tax collectors in their strike today..photo by Hossam El-Hamalawy

By Hossam el-Hamalawy

More than 1000 property tax collectors are staging a sit-in, downtown Cairo, demanding job reforms and a halt to what they called a crackdown on their independent union.

Protestors—wearing facial “swine flu” masks, with the words “Independent Union” written on them—are accusing Finance Minister Youssef Boutross Ghali of “betraying” a deal struck with the independent representatives over a social welfare fund on 28 July, by which every retired tax collector would have received a 110-month pay.

“After issuing a Ministerial Decree, documented in the official state organ, the minister ‘readjusted’ his decree and gave the project to the government union,” Tarek Mostafa, a Qalyoubia tax collector and the independent union’s treasurer, said bitterly. “We are here today to make the whole world know we are against this, and will fight till the last breath to defend our children’s money,” continued Mostafa as he tried with difficulty to move between the crowd in Hussein Hegazi Street, facing the ministerial cabinet headquarters.

At least five Central Security Forces trucks have arrived quickly in the scene, with black-uniformed soldiers in full gear, forming a cordon around the protestors, but no clashes are reported. Plainclothes security informers could be spotted on both ends of street. continue


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