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Protest From Egypts Civil Servants

Members of the Real Estate Tax Authority and thousands of Egypts tax collectors are gathered in Cairo this week to protest their wages and to demand a transfer of their positions to the Finance Ministry.

Baheyya has more

As with the second Mahalla strike in Ramadan, hundreds of women civil servants are out in full force, braving the cold winter air and shattering tired stereotypes; they're camping out day and night alongside their male co-workers. What do state feminists, “women's empowerment” do-gooders, and assorted ladies who lunch have to say about that? Oh that's right, nobody cares what they think.

egypt protest

Also out in full force is the indefatigable Kamal Abu Eita, citizen-activist extraordinaire. Like Kamal Khalil, Abu Eita is a fixture at nearly every street protest in Egypt in the past 10 years. But he does have a day job, and it is in fact as a tax collector for the Real Estate Tax Authority, so this protest hits very close to home. Abu Eita is a walking treasure trove of information and insight about this most unusual and most significant of public protests.

Protests have become extremely popular in Egypt as frustrations grow and multiply over any number of issues. The international media has taken notice and reports on these civil servant protests.

M&C Business News

The workers had similarly protested last October. According to the workers, who are all members of the property tax department, their counterparts in departments run by the Ministry of Finance receive better benefits, a notion which they deem ‘unfair.’

The protestors picketed the cabinet, organizing a march that started from its headquarters, demanding that discrepancies in wages be eliminated and asking for bonuses ‘in compensation for the years of hard work’ where their rights were abused, according to local newspapers which ran a preview of the picket.

In Arish, 380 kilometres north-east of Cairo, tax workers told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that state security personnel have given them orders not to strike or join their fellow workers in Cairo.

However, a source from the tax department who requested anonymity, said that a group of employees had already traveled to the Egyptian capital to join the larger protests there despite of the ban.

In the past Government officials have attempted to diffuse protests by claiming they were organized by the Muslim Brotherhood but organizers have preemptively responded to those claims.

Zeinobia

Ironically I saw some representatives speaking on Dream TV 2 from couple of days , one of them said that it was not a strike organized by Muslim Brotherhood before anyone would say so because most of the employees are Christians !! “You see in the previous strikes the government and its official media blamed and accused the MB of being behind them in order destabilize the country !!”

To the protests , the protests are in the Cairo university , now it is the professors themselves ,who do not like the security and governmental intervention to the fact that several university professor are arrested whether from the MB or from the activists like Dr. Laila Swaif.

In addition to low pay the collectors face penalties for missed quotas which lower pay even further even though they face understandable difficulties in collecting.

Earth Times

“Sometimes, they deduct 50 per cent of our efforts benefits because we do not meet the desired tax collection quota,” Rashed told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The tax collectors usually face difficulties during money collection.

“Some people refuse to pay, and we follow them around. But sometimes, we fail to collect. What do we do then? Shoot the citizen (who refuses to pay)?” Rashed shouted at the top of his voice.

“I work in the countryside collecting taxes from farmers, and we face a lot of dangers there too. We are beaten up sometimes, and others are even shot when they pursue the farmers for payment,” a tax collector from Monofiyah province agreed.

In the end it will get resolved one way or another, possibly not how the protesters expect but something has to budge. Till next time.

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