Local BBC journalists in Cairo stage third strike in three months over low pay

Local BBC journalists in Cairo stage third strike in three months over low pay
Monday's strike is the third in almost three months during which the demands of the local staff of BBC in Cairo have not been met.
2 min read
Egypt - Cairo
21 August, 2023
BBC staff in Cairo have been demanding financial rights equal to their colleagues' in other offices in the region. [Getty]

BBC staff in Cairo launched on Monday, 21 August, a 10-day strike to protest against low salaries and alleged discriminatory measures by the company as an economic crisis rips through the North African country.

The strike, the third in almost three months, was triggered by what the journalists described as "management's intransigence" in solving their problem while insisting on allegedly adopting an "unfair financial policy" that discriminates between them and their colleagues who operate in other parts of the region.

Last month, the Journalists' Syndicate head Khaled El-Balshy reiterated the demand of some 75 staff members for their salaries to be paid in US dollars "to balance the lowered value of the local currency."

In a statement cited by local news outlets, the strikers accused BBC management of "wasting any possible opportunities for serious negotiations" during three meetings held between them and Balshy as they only offered minor pay raises for workers and not proportional to the declining value of the Egyptian pound.

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Local staff further denounced "the disciplinary measures" taken against them by cutting the days during which they went on strike from their salaries.

The journalists further threatened to extend the strike if their demands were not met, whereas the management rejected any form of negotiations with the strikers until they resumed their duties, the statement read.

The BBC Cairo journalists declined to comment, delegating Balshy to be their official spokesman and negotiator. The New Arab could not reach him for comment at the publication time.

The country’s local currency has been struggling against the US dollar leading prices to further skyrocket.  One US dollar is valued at about 30.95 Egyptian pounds at the time of publishing.