NUJ supports staff at BBC Cairo in dispute over pay
The union has put pressure on the BBC management to resolve the dispute between journalists and staff in the corporation’s Cairo office who have taken 10 days’ strike action.
The Egyptian pound has lost more than half of its value against the US dollar since last spring. Official inflation rates have hit unprecedented levels – with unofficial levels much higher. Prices of basic commodities have more than doubled leaving staff struggling to afford basic daily needs for themselves and their families. Incremental rises totalling 27 per cent to date have failed to keep up with soaring inflation, and the BBC’s latest offer of an additional 10 per cent would still not close this gap.
As well as a fair settlement on pay BBC Cairo staff want a settlement that offers security – pegging their salaries to a hard currency. In a country where reporting is constrained and journalists are too frequently decried as enemies of the state, the NUJ believes the BBC has a responsibility to protect its staff from unacceptable additional pressures of economic insecurity and poverty.
Khaled El Belshy, president of the Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate, said:
“We are demanding nothing but a fair wage to ensure BBC colleagues in Cairo can make ends meet when the current inflation is cutting so deeply into their livelihood. We will continue fighting relentlessly to make the BBC negotiate seriously something in line with the wage improvements staff need during this serious cost of living crisis. Our members in BBC Cairo refuse to be professionally devalued by BBC management. Many thanks NUJ for your continued solidarity.”