Egyptian control over the suez Canal becomes stronger as more Egyptian Nationals are trained to replace the international 'corps' of pilots navigating world shipping through the perilous seaway.
Egyptian control over the suez Canal becomes stronger as more Egyptian Nationals are trained to replace the international 'corps' of pilots navigating world shipping through the perilous seaway. Visnews recently accompanied an Egyptian pilot during a typical day's duty.
Since its re-opening two years ago, the Suez Canal has been run by the Egyptian Authority with noteworthy success. Trouble with its 230-strong international staff of pilots now threatens to reduce this flow of revenue to a mere trickle. Terms offered with new contracts have so disgusted them that less than half have signed, and others have challenged the Authority in Egyptian courts.
Representatives of 120 Canal pilots, among them 85 foreigners, have brought lawsuits against the Suez Canal Authority, alleging breach of contract. The new contracts, offered since the beginning of the year, alter the basic rates of pay and severely curtail the recognised 'benefits' - family and educational allowances, yearly leave with first-class travel for the pilots and their families, and bonuses for each ship piloted through the Canal - by as much as twenty per-cent.
Those who have signed the new contracts included all the East Europeans (fifteen Russians who arrived dramatically the day the French and British left in 1956 when Nasser nationalised the Canal, and about thirty more from Poland, Rumania, Hungary, East Germany, Yugoslavia), seven Greeks and 50 Egyptians.