Without Salary for three months Weaving and textile factory employees protest again [Archives:2005/905/Front Page]

December 22 2005

Hakim Almasmari
Hundreds of angry employees of the Weaving and Textile Factory hold a protest early Tuesday 20th of December. Between 1300- 1600 unorganized protesters walked the streets of Sana'a starting from Al-Shurta Street and ending at the Presidential Palace, shouting and complaining against the illegal procedures taken against them by the factory's administration.

The employees demanded the administration to give them their salaries, dating back to three months, and to reopen the factory. Protesters called on President Saleh to interfere and solve this crisis. According to the protesters, employees of the factory have not received their salaries for over three month, which in return making their financial problems greater. “Because of their unjust policies, we were kicked out of our apartments by our landlords. Our families are on the streets; our children became sick because we couldn't give them medical attention. We blame the factory's Chairman, Mohammed Hajib, for this crisis”, said an angry protester. Protesters complained that the factory closed down after selling its equipment for unclarified reasons, which resulted in them losing their jobs.

'Save us, save us, and reopen the factory in order to get our jobs back' was shown in one of the slogans lifted by the protesters in the protest. Mohamed Al-Salami, another angry protester quoted to the Yemen Times: “I have been working in this factory for 30 years and this is how I am treated after all these year. Now you will only see white hair on my head. I will not stay quiet under this oppression. I also blame the Minister of Finance for this problem,” he added. When asked about his salary Al-Salami confirmed that he used to get YR 35,000 as a monthly salary (which is equivalent 185 US dollars) before the closure of the factory. When trying to contact the chairman of Factory, Mr. Mohammed Hajib, for comments concerning this issue, his phone could not be reached. It was not long before the Yemen Times reporter was asked to leave the scene by some policemen.

It is worth mentioning that the employees of the same factory have protested earlier this month for the same reasons. Notable among these are the demonstration on the 11th of this month in front of the parliament and the strike took place by the employees in front of the factory. While covering the latter, Al-Jazeera correspondent Ahmed Al-Shalafi and cameraman Ali Al-Baidhani were stopped and interrogated by police without legal justification.