CAIRO: The Minister of Manpower and Immigration met with the chairman of the General Manpower Syndicate and representatives of Telemasr factory to end the electronics manufacturing factory protest, Sally Mahmoud, the general manager of the quality control department at Telemasr told Daily News Egypt.
According to Mahmoud, during the meeting the ministry decided to provide a LE 20 million loan to factory owner Hani Al-Ghazawy, using his assets as collateral, to pay off employees early retirement pay.
Last week around 50 of Telemasr factory’s 500 employees staged a four-day “peaceful protest against the management’s decision to force them to go on early retirement.
The former public sector electronics factory is known for its NEC TVs, cookers and most recently laptops. It has two branches, one in Haram and another in Ismailia.
The workers are concerned about the authenticity of promises that they would receive their retirement package, especially after factory owner Hani Al-Ghazawy promised to pay them in six months, which is against the law, Mahmoud said.
Minister of Manpower and Immigration, Aisha Abdel Hady held an emergency meeting with Al-Ghazawy, the syndicate chairman and worker representatives from the factory.
Mahmoud says that during the meeting the ministry decided to allocate a LE 20 million loan to Al-Ghazawy using his assets as collateral.
However, sources suggest that this loan is invalid because there are several lawsuits filed against Al-Ghazawy, Mahmoud said.
Mahmoud believes that Al-Ghazawy has a hidden agenda.
They have been forced to go on early retirement, she said, because Al-Ghazawy wants to change his line of business and close down the factory.
He terminated all the deals that run the factory four months ago, and since that time, we have only been working on old deals, Mahmoud added.
The factory stopped operations last November, because Al-Ghazawy claims that he does not have enough money to keep it going, Mahmoud said. Since then, he informally began pressuring employees to go on early retirement.
Mahmoud expressed workers hopes to keep their jobs and develop the factory so that it becomes Egypt s premium factory again.
The early retirement pensions will be very low compared to their current income, Mahmoud said.
She explained that having worked at the factory for 30 years, her pension will total around LE 600 per month, which is half her salary. What about the employees who have been with the factory for only five or 10 years?
Can you imagine how [low] their pension will be? she added.
The workers ended their protest last Thursday after the ministry s intervention to show respect to all the parties that intervened to solve our problem, Mahmoud said.
Telemasr factory was privatized in 1996 and sold to its current owner Al-Ghazawy.
According to Egypt’s privatization law, the new owner has the authority to change the factory s line of work after three years.
However, the government amended the law, giving the buyer ownership of the land, not just the property, to encourage investment opportunities, Mahmoud said.