The Cairo Misdemeanour Court accepted Sunday the appeals of 32 workers at Tora Cement Company and reduced the three-year prison sentence against them to two months in prison. Tora workers were accused of illegal protests and resisting forced arrest.
Tora workers were demonstrating against the company’s decision to lay them off after working at the company for nearly 15 years and did not pay them the money the were owed.
Earlier this month, the same court handed the workers prison sentences for three years after their sit-in.
The verdict comes one day after the High Administrative Court verdict that canceled the disciplinary sanctions imposed on 17 employees at the post office in Ashmoun of the Menoufiya governorate.
The court asserted that the peaceful strike was a right and not a punishable offence, according to Article 15 of the Egyptian constitution. The article orders the legislature to organise this right, but the legislature did not regulate the right of strike in terms of the Civil Service Law.
Labour activist Wael Tawfik said that this ruling could be used in several cases, and the Civil Service Law ignored regulating the right of the labour strike in addition to several legislations that ban workers in the public sector from striking. Tawfik added that this is not the first ruling from the Administrative Court regarding the right of striking.
He also called upon workers to go to the High Constitutional Court to consider the Civil Service Law unconstitutional because it does not have the right to regulate striking.
Over the past years, labour groups working in governmental institutions have not stopped arranging rallies to call for their rights.