Reinforcing Trade Unions’ rights in Algeria and Egypt as part of the EU Partnership Priorities

Last week, SOLIDAR together with the Arab Trade Union Confederation and EuroMed Rights, addressed a joint letter to VP/HR Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn calling to reinforce trade unions’ rights in Algeria and Egypt as part of the EU Partnership Priorities.

Both countries are experiencing alarming growing level of repression against independent trade unions, with ongoing violations that include the imprisonment of workers and trade unionists who dare exercising the right to strike, the prosecution of trade union members and workers in military courts, and unfair dismissal, breaching the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), as well as the ILO Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87), to which both countries are parties to.

In this context, The EU is currently negotiating Partnership Priorities with Egypt and Algeria, as part of the implementation of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy.

For this, our networks call upon the European Union to:

  • Ensure that the negotiation of the Partnership Priorities with Egypt and Algeria will be conducted on the condition that the fundamental rights of citizens, in particular freedom of association and assembly (and associated union rights) are duly protected, and that social partners, notably independent trade unions, are recognised and associated in all matters that concerns them.
  • Urge the Egyptian and Algerian authorities to ensure in all circumstances that independent unionists are able to fully exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly without fearing harassment or interference, in accordance with the ILO’s conventions and the international human rights conventions ratified by Egypt and Algeria, as a precondition to engage in further negotiations.

The petition filed by the Arab Trade Union Confederation Petition on Egypt and Algeria to the 105th session of the International Labour Organisation Conference.

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