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Khartoum university staff threaten strike

September 16 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Minister of Higher Education Intisar Segheroun (SUNA)
Minister of Higher Education Intisar Segheroun (SUNA)

Staff at El Nilein University in Khartoum organised a vigil in front of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, protesting that their August salaries have not been paid yet.

Dr Mohamed Ahmed told Radio Dabanga from the sit-in that they demand that the government treat all employees equally, and pay salaries at universities at the same time as those of other people employed by the government. The University Lecturers Association has given the administration 48 hours to pay last month’s salaries. It threatened with a general strike if this does not happen.

The Ministry of Higher Education informed the directors of state universities that it received SDG25 million* from the Ministry of Finance for staff salaries this year, yet this was before the increase of the salaries.

Kenana Sugar Company

The Empowerment Removal Committee** instructed the restructuring of the Workers Union of the Kenana Sugar Company in White Nile state yesterday.

The 28-day-old strike and sit-in of the staff continued, despite warnings of the company’s management to the striking staff that days on strike will not be paid.

The main demands of the protestors include the dismissal of the managing director, recognition of the union’s new steering committee by the company’s management, re-employment of workers dismissed because they participated in the revolution, and the restoration of the workers’ rights.

The strikers expressed their satisfaction with the decision of the Empowerment Removal Committee, considering it a victory in their struggle.

The Communist Party of Sudan (CPoS) has condemned “the total disregard and oppression faced by workers of the Kenana Sugar Company”. In a statement to the Central Trade Union Office, the party denounced the dismissal of 34 staff members because they took part in the uprising against ousted President Omar Al Bashir.

The party further called on the governor of White Nile state, the federal Minister of Industry and Trade, and the Prime Minister to heed the demands of the Kenana company’s staff. The communists urged all Sudanese workers to show solidarity with their colleagues at the Kenana Sugar Company, and “to unite and exert all efforts to fill the vacuum after the trade unions established by the Al Bashir regime have been discredited or disbanded, to press for the passing of the new and already agreed upon Trade Union Bill, so that new unions can be set up”.

* USD 1 = SDG 55.1375 at the time of publishing this article. As effective foreign exchange rates can vary widely in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily middle US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).

** The Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee was established by the new government in the end of last year, with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the Al Bashir regime. Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates in state affairs by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions and the setting-up of various companies.

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