Update: Railways head refers striking train drivers to prosecutors

Egypt National Railway director Hussein Zakariya said he has taken legal action against striking train drivers, referring them to the Administrative Prosecution.

He said in statements on Sunday, reported by state-run news agency MENA, that the “instigators” behind the strike would also be referred to the Public Prosecution.

Train movement across Egypt have stopped entirely as drivers declared a general strike condemning Transport Minister Hatem Abdel Latif’s failure to yield to their demands concerning bonus increases.

An independent syndicate for railway workers had expressed solidarity with the drivers’ demands to further raise journey-related allowances and overtime bonuses. They rejected the minister’s recent offer for a 10 percent increase starting May.

Zakariya earlier told state-run MENA news agency that the drivers had started a strike covering Upper and Lower Egypt regions.The strike caused a complete paralysis to railway movement, Zakariya said, noting that trains have been replaced with buses at some cities such as, Tanta, Gharbiya.

Zakariya had added that negotiations are underway with drivers. He said he convened Saturday with the ministers of transport, manpower, the head Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions, and a number of drivers and conductors where the minister made the offer rejected by the workers. He noted that the workers were offered a monthly meeting to discuss their problems and to be paid for overtime.

The workers had declared they would not wait for a panel formed by the transport minister to declare a new bonus scheme.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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