Photo: Suez Canal Authority

Suez Canal Authority: Meme’d Digger Operator Will Get His Overtime Pay

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 7491
April 13, 2021

The Suez Canal Authority is responding to online reports that the real star of the Ever Given’s salvage, the guy with the digger, has not been paid for his efforts.

We’ve seen this story in a few places now. But from what we can tell it was first reported by Business Insider that the 28-year-old operator of the little excavator that could worked 21-hour days to free the stuck ship and, as of April 8, he had still not been paid his overtime!

Surprisingly, the Insider article actually says the man, identified as Abdullah Abdel-Gawad, didn’t actually like the memes (ok, now I feel bad), but the publicity actually made him work extra-hard because of the added the pressure they brought to dig the ship free.

“The thing is, I was terrified that the ship might list too far to one side or the other,” he told Insider. “Because if it fell onto its side on me, then it’s goodbye me, and goodbye excavator.”

Now the Suez Canal Authority is addressing the rumors of non-payment to the operator directly in a Facebook post it published earlier today (translated):

Rumors: The Authority’s failure to pay the salary of the drill worker involved in floating the Panamanian container ship EVER GIVEN

Facts: Not true, we note that the drilling worker does not follow the Suez Canal Authority, but works for Newgaz, one of the external contractors from land excavators contracted by the authority during the Panamanian crises, and the company has earned all its entitlements From rental of equipment and employment benefits involved, and in contact with the head of the company, the worker has been assured that all his entitlements are obtained from work and additional satisfactory stimulus in recognition of the worker’s effort.

?The Suez Canal Authority calls upon the citizens to investigate accuracy in what is being circulated about the Authority and not to pay attention to rumors and anonymous news, and the media appeals to obtain all information relevant to the Authority from its official sources.

So there you have it folks.

Also, this all comes as the Ever Given is now being held in the waterway as Suez Canal Authority pursues a $916 million compensation claim against the ship’s Japanese owner.


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