Monday, June 10, 2013

ILO blacklists Egypt on labor freedom ground, as protests doubled

Labor protests had doubled ever since President Mohamed Morsi had been elected in June 2012.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) put Egypt back on the “special cases” –list on the short-term due to continuing violation of worker’s rights, according to AlAhram’s online news portal.
The “special cases”- list is also referred to as the “black list” by trade unions.

An expert committee of the ILO took the decision after receiving several complaints, mainly by trade unions, concerning the lack of freedom and response to labor demands. Labor demands usually range from increase in wages, to mismanagement, mistreatment, corruption, and the closure of factories and businesses.

Earlier this year, the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) published a study stating that labor protests had doubled ever since President Mohamed Morsi had been elected in June 2012, with a peak in March 2013 scheduling 44 protests a day. Most of those protests took place in the governmental sector.

Yet, the issue of labor rights is not new to Egypt. The country has become a frequent visitor of the “black list” even during the reign of ousted President Hosny Mubarak.

In 2011, former director of the ILO's Middle East labor activities Mohamed al-Taraboulsi told online portal Egypt Independent that Egypt needed to increase its national minimum wage to emerge from the blacklist. The country had been blacklisted in preceding years due to its government's violations of international agreements on labor freedoms and intervention in trade union affairs. Up till today, the Shura Council has not yet decided on the country’s minimum wage ceiling.
 
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