BBC Cairo staff wins battle for equal pay against company: syndicate

BBC Cairo staff wins battle for equal pay against company: syndicate
Over the past few months, BBC staff in Cairo staged three strikes to protest the "unfair financial policy" adopted by the company.

2 min read
Egypt - Cairo
21 September, 2023
The BBC Cairo staff called for having their salaried be paid in US dollars to balance the declining value of the local currency. [Getty]

BBC's staff based in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, have finally won their battle for equal payments amid a dire economic crisis after a series of strikes and heated negotiations with the management.

Based on an agreement reached with the management and sponsored by the Journalists' Syndicate head, Khaled El-Balashy, after several rounds of negotiations, the staff in Egypt will be offered 75  to 142 per cent in salary increases, the union announced in a statement.     

The statement read that BBC's management further agreed to offer all employees an equal transportation allowance and double the pay for night shifters.

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Over the past few months, BBC journalists in Cairo staged at least three strikes to protest an "unfair financial policy" adopted by the company, which, the staff argued, was discriminating and was less than their colleagues who operate in other parts of the region.

At least 75 journalists based in Cairo also called for having their salaries be paid in US dollars "to balance the lowered value of the local currency."

The BBC management also agreed to review its "volatile markets" policy, which addresses economic downturns in countries where the BBC operates.

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Last October, the Central Bank of Egypt imposed exchange rate flexibility, allowing the value of the Egyptian pound to be regulated by market forces. The change aimed to save Egypt's already ailing economy after securing a US$3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The US dollar is currently valued at 30.95 in banks and currency exchange offices, but it is worth about 40 EGP on the black market.

Egypt's annual headline inflation hit 39.7 per cent last month compared to 38.2 per cent in the previous one, as the prices of basic necessities have continued to soar, taking a heavy toll on low and average-income households.