Labor Freedoms and Independence Are Inalienable & Inherent
Egyptian Democratic Trade Unions Congress
Friday, 17 Nov., 2017
The Egyptian Democratic Trade Unions Congress (EDTUC) affirms its rejection of the new draft trade union law placed before the Egyptian Parliament. EDTUC calls for voting against it or at the very least re-deliberating the articles that drastically violate freedom of association guided by EDTUC’s remarks, previously submitted to the Labor Force Commission at the Parliament, a number of MPs and the ILO’s delegation.
EDTUC’s executive body expressed, in all its meetings with the abovementioned parties as well as in a press conference held on Monday, 13 Nov., its disappointment with the draft law which comes as a mere reproduction of the current Law no. 35/1976; introducing few adjustments that failed to recover the latter’s flaws. The draft law replicates the underpinning philosophy of Law no. 35/1976 with all its serious defects and problems, maintaining meanwhile the latter’s structure and repeating the majority of its provisions resulting in an inconsistent and contradictory draft.
This draft fails shortly to meet the present requirements of the Egyptian reality and is considered a flagrant violation of the Egyptian Constitution and ILO’s conventions (in particular convention no. 87). The draft law imposes many restrictions on independent trade unions and onerous conditions on general unions and federations for threshold requirements. It, moreover, voids the right to establish industrial and regional federations that have succeeded lately to send a positive image about the investment climate in Egypt, by implementing a number of successful programs including the Better Work program, which is facing the prospect of suspension in case of the failure of the Egyptian government to meet its international obligations and its persistence on suppressing freedom of association by enacting defected laws.
EDTUC maintains, out of its keenness on the stability and welfare of the Egyptian society, that removing any restrictions imposed on freedom of association is the only mean to the effective implementation of the collective bargaining mechanisms and social dialog necessary for the stability of work relations. EDTUC also affirms that securing Egyptian workers’ rights in establishing their trade unions independently is the demand of all Egyptian labor before being an international obligation that must be fulfilled. Conformity with the international conventions and meeting international obligations on the part of the Egyptian government cannot be achieved by issuing vague and inconsistent statements of consensus signed by alleged representatives of the independent Egyptian labor movement who, in fact, echo the government controlled ETUF’s interests. Labor consensus can only be in conformity with convention no. 87 and the Constitution by enacting a law free from circumventing and conflicting articles to guarantee labor rights.
EDTUC adheres to its declared position to reject the draft law presented to the Parliament and calls for its negative vote or at the very least re-deliberation of the controversial articles (art. 3 from the preamble and art. 2,10, 11, 12, 41, 42 & 43). EDTUC maintains again and again its relenting support of fundamental labor rights and freedoms that are non-negotiable, inalienable and inherent. EDTUC held the Egyptian government as well as its affiliated ETUF responsible for all the grave losses and consequences expected to take place in case the draft law should pass, despite our non-stop attempts to adjust its inconsistencies with and contradictions to established labor freedoms and international standards.
EDTUC, finally, denounces the statement of consensus issued after the meeting at the Ministry of Manpower last Thursday, and maintains that no consensus could be achieved at the price of comprising fundamental principles and rights and through inadequate representations of workers.
“Long Live Egypt” with freedom, social justice and without restrictions on labor rights and freedoms.