Temporary cabinet employees threaten sit-in

A number of civil servants hired by the cabinet on temporary basis are threatening a sit-in at Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif’s office. The employees complain that they have not been granted permanent status, as was recommended by the Dispute Settlement Committee.

The cabinet employees call their interim contracts "unfair" because they give the cabinet the right to dismiss them without bearing any responsibility or obligations.

The employees sent a personal appeal to President Mubarak yesterday asking for his intervention. They accuse the cabinet and its secretary general Samy Saad Zaghloul of breaching the president’s electoral platform by forcing them to sign contracts that deny them the right to demand appointment.

"I have been working in the cabinet [ceremonies department] for eight years, during which sons of the ‘seniors’ were appointed. This comes though I received my job several years before they did and despite my command in three languages and the ‘excellent’ reports written about me by my supervisors," said Mohamed Abdel Razek, a temporary cabinet employee.

Another employee with the Engineering Affairs Department, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he received threats that he would be dismissed and have security reports written against him if he failed to sign the contract. He said he was intimidated into signing, otherwise he and his family would be homeless. He stressed that the contract does not ensure the signatories’ rights.

Marwa el-Shorbagi, an interim employee with the Presidency and Foreign Affairs Department said, "We refused to sign the contracts after consulting lawyers and legal experts who assured us that the contract could be rescinded at any time in accordance with its clauses."

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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