Prosecution detains labor strike leaders, accuses them of Brotherhood ties

Six labor leaders from the Public Transport Authority arrested last Saturday in dawn raids were remanded in pre-trial detention, as the General Prosecution accused them of being members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood organization, inciting strikes and disturbing public order.

The defendants are to remain in custody for 15 days, pending further investigation, the privately owned Youm7 newspaper reported. They were arrested in relation to a strike that was scheduled to pressure authorities to raise salaries, amid mounting discontent among workers.

Computers, printed flyers related to the planned strikes and a mobile phone were among the items confiscated from the defendants.

Public transportation workers made several demands, including placing the authority under the supervision of the Transport Ministry rather than local governorates, increasing production bonuses by up to 17 percent, and wage parity with Alexandria’s Transport Authority.

The whereabouts of the defendants was previously unknown. A post appeared on the Facebook account of strike leader Tarek al-Behairy Saturday, written by his son, saying Behairy was summoned by National Security on Friday night, and his family agreed to announce his arrest as soon as his phone was switched off. The account has since been removed.

The independent Center for Trade Union and Workers’ Services (CTUWS) had previously filed a complaint with the office of the General Prosecutor, demanding that authorities disclose the whereabouts of the jailed workers and inform the Center of the charges leveled against them.