CAIRO: The People’s Assembly (PA) approved Wednesday a request filed by several MPs blaming the government for inciting the nationwide strike staged by truck drivers.
In the request, several MPs blame the government for “escalating the situation with truck drivers, Hassanein El-Shoura, member of the PA’s transport and communications committee, told Daily News Egypt.
Truck drivers around Egypt went on strike Friday, protesting a governmental decree that bans the use of large trailers. They vowed to continue with the strike until the government cancels said decree.
The ban is due to take effect in January 2011.
“The government has yet to respond to this strike, El-Shoura said.
El-Shoura blames the government for the dilemma, saying it shouldn’t have allowed large trailers in the first place. “Why did the government provide them with licenses to begin with?
“The new traffic law will directly affect truck drivers’ businesses as well as the people they work for who use large trailers for shipping purposes, he explained.
At a press conference Tuesday, truck drivers called on the president, the PA, the prime minister and all the responsible bodies to interfere and prevent the implementation of the contentious decree.
“The law is harsh and will cost many drivers and stakeholders in this field their jobs and their businesses . Thousands will be unemployed, the drivers said at the press conference.
Truck drivers have threatened to sell their trailers or stop working altogether if the law is enforced, which will inevitably take its toll on international trade with Egypt due to the lack of cargo transportation.
The article dealing with large trailers in the new traffic law has proved the most controversial during PA discussions last year.
The new law’s amendments banned the use of truck trailers as well as the importing or manufacturing of trailers, with a grace period of two years for their owners to replace them with other cargo transportation means.
El-Shoura expects Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif to attend Monday’s PA session and address the drivers’ concerns.
Nazif is also expected to address a request filed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc next Monday, criticizing the government’s stance on the Israeli offensive on Gaza.