By Nourhan Dakroury
The Independent Train Driver’s Union held elections on Monday after dissolving the union’s old board of directors.
“The union should have held elections two years ago, when the term for the board of directors had ended,” said Ashraf Momtaz, a train driver.
Given the circumstances of the political situation in the country, nobody paid attention to have new elections when it was time for them, he added.
He said that five members were elected out of 16 candidates, adding that most of the candidates are not politically active or well-known among transportation workers.
One of the members elected is former union head Ali Hendawi.
Railway workers and train drivers had held a strike last April demanding bonuses and salary raises, according to Dalia Moussa, labour media coordinator at the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR).
The strike was cut short, after drivers were summoned by the military to work as train drivers under the army, in which case they would be imprisoned if they refuse to work.
Momtaz said that the summoning was illegal because they can only be summoned in cases of war or of natural disasters.
Since then, the Ministry of Transportation promised them the formation of a committee to look into the drivers’ demands, which would announce its decisions on 10 June.
Momtaz said that nothing was announced, claiming that the ministry has not formed any committees to date.