October 05, 2017
BRUSSELS - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and French affiliates –SNJ and CFDT – have backed workers striking for fair pay at the Cairo office of AFP news agency.
AFP employees in Cairo staged a 6-hour strike on October 3, 12-hour strike on October 4 and were on 24-hour strike Thursday.
Strikers claim that since the devaluation of the Egyptian pound in November 2016 their salary and purchasing power have halved.
Although the office’s editor-in-chief, Emmanuel Parisse, said that AFP is going to compensate the national currency’s inflation in their 2018 budget, no specific amounts have been agreed yet.
“We understand that the agency needs to consolidate the budget, but it is particularly painful that they have chosen to make cuts in our salaries and quality of life for this purpose,” said the staff committee in a statement.
The workers have demanded that the salary reverts to the equivalent salary in euros they had back in October 2016, just before the devaluation. They also claim that the salaries in AFP Cairo’s office are the lowest in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The IFJ and the French affiliates, Syndicat National des Journalistes (SNJ) and Union Syndicale des Journalistes (CFDT), have backed the workers and their demands.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said, “We stand by our colleagues at AFP in Cairo. It shouldn’t be the workers paying the price of the economic instability in the country. We thus urge the management to find a concrete solution to their demands for them and their families as a matter of urgency.” – IFJ media release
Pakistan Observer, November 1, 2016