In the last year, there has been an increased violation of human and trade unions rights in Egypt: independent unions have been subject to arbitrary governmental measures starting from threatens, detention of independent union leaders, and exclusion from social dialogue and collective bargaining.
With this background, on October 15th, a group of independent trade unions will launch a joint initiative to better coordinate their fight for freedom of association.
The Egyptian Labour Movement faces a serious turning now: the current draft trade union law, supposed to be discussed soon in the Parliament does not comply with ILO Convention N. 87 on freedom of association. Already in June this year, the ILO Conference Committee on the Application of the Standards (CAS) recommended to the government of Egypt that it “ensure that the draft Law on Trade Union Organizations, presently before the House of Representatives for adoption, is in conformity with the Convention, in particular with respect to the concerns relating to the institutionalization of a single trade union system” as well that it “ensure that all trade unions in Egypt are able to exercise their activities and elect their officers in full freedom, in law and in practice, in accordance with the Convention”. Nevertheless, up to now, this has not been the case.
In this context, SOLIDAR welcomes the Egyptian Democratic Trade Unions Congress initiative that aims to develop a labour law organizations that guarantees all labour freedoms especially:
· The right to form unions without restrictions, conditions or guardianship of any administrative party
· The right of each worker to choose the union he wishes for and his unrestricted right to join it or leave it
· The unrestricted and unconditional right to form regional and sectorial unions and nationwide unions as well as the right of each union to choose to join or leave federations.
· The right of the union or federation members (their general assembly) solely to draft their constitution (the basic statute) without intervention from any party and without the imposition of any model or specific rules.
· The right of the members of the union or federation to choose their representatives and their executive committees through direct elections without the intervention of any party or imposing a particular model or rules on them
· The independence of unions from the government and from the intervention of any administrative party in their affairs.