Acknowledgment of contravention to international labor standards binds the government to adopt practical measures

Press Releases
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 16:36


Acknowledgment of contravention to international labor standards binds the government to adopt practical measures

The violation of international labor standards including the freedom of trade unions either through legislation or actual practice by raising obstacles impeding workers' right of organizing in 29 Egyptian settings according to the provisions of Law 213/2017, has led ILO to put Egypt on its short list of individual cases (i.e. the black list); this caused a serious deterioration of Egypt's credit at the international level affecting consequently the country's capacity of attracting investments.  The direct victims of this situation will undoubtedly be workers themselves with the escape of investors, the closing of their projects and the expulsion of the labor force.  In addition, the international organization will stop the implementation of the best program of work from which Egypt could have immensely benefited in terms of investments and job opportunities.

The efforts of both the Minister of Labor Force and Migration, representing the Egyptian government, and the secretary general of the "governmental" General Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions, representative of the workers' delegation, failed on June 14 and 15 2019 to convince the delegations of participant states with the exception of three governments that do not enjoy a great popularity among their citizens: Sudan, Algeria, and Brazil.  This failure was due to the use by Egyptian representatives of stratagems and lies that were clearly identified by the other delegations and ILO experts.

These two Egyptian representatives announced the will to cooperate with ILO and its committee of experts and declared that the government has already resent Law 213/2017 to the Parliament in order to introduce the amendments  previously recommended by ILO experts, and that the parliamentarian labor force committee has endorsed the proposed changes.  Moreover, they added that both the government and the Federation are ready to introduce additional amendments if needed to achieve compatibility between the Law and international conventions and standards.  In addition, the Egyptian government requested through its representative that ILO provides its technical support in developing the Law and in defining all the needed procedures to avoid the remarks expressed by the follow-up committee of the Egyptian case.  Finally, the government pledged itself to organize elections for trade unions whose legal status was not settled as well as for the newly established ones.

Based on the will to redress the losses resulting from the governmental legislation and the practices of the Labor Force and Migration Ministry and its directorates, and to have Egypt removed from the black list and its international reputation improved to be seen as an attractive society for investments rather than a repulsive one, the campaign for the defense of trade unions' freedoms and workers' rights calls for:

  1. A speedy adoption by the Parliament of all the amendments related to Law 213/2017 promised by the government, leading to alleviate the obstacles impeding trade unions' freedoms and bridging the gap between the Egyptian legislation and international labor standards;
  2. Issuance of directives by the Ministry of Labor Force and Migration to all its directorates to eliminate any obstructions raised in front of independent trade unions that have deposited their files during the deadline and were postponed on purpose, including the abolition of bureaucratic measures towards workers seeking to create new independent trade unions according to the provisions of the Law and its expected amendments;
  3. Stop from using stratagems and lies, not only in front of international organizations by also with Egyptian workers.


Cairo, June 25, 2019



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