Egypt’s House of Representatives – File photo
CAIRO – 28 June 2017: Parliament’s Manpower Committee will discuss the trade unions bill following the Eid al-Fitr holidays, deputy of the committee Gamal Akbi said on Tuesday.
The trade unions law has been a matter of ongoing discussion between legislative and executive authorities on one side and unionists on the other since the 2011 revolution. The discussions resulted in the introduction of numerous draft laws to replace Law No. 35 for 1976 and its amendments.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail prepared the most recent draft of the law, which was reviewed by the cabinet before it was sent to the parliament for discussion.
Akbi asserted that the committee would invite all related associations and unions to listen to their views and notes on the new bill, taking into account that it has been 40 years since the current law was changed.
He added that the draft law submitted by the government complies with all international agreements and trade union pluralism.
Mohamed Saafan, Egypt's Minister of Manpower, welcomed the committee’s decision to discuss the trade unions bill next week, stressing that this move meets President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s instructions to speed up issuing legislation related to labor.
He added that trade union elections shall take place within 90 days from the imposition of the law, stressing that the trade unions existing at the time of the law will retain their legal personality.
Saafan further added that the law has been drafted in accordance with international labor standards and the conventions ratified by Egypt regarding the right to union organization. The draft law grants workers the right to form trade unions, as well as the freedom to join or withdraw from them.
The minister asserted that the draft law prohibits the formation of labor unions based on religious, ideological, partisan, racial or political grounds, and prohibits forming or participating in any trade union that violates the Constitution or Egyptian law.
It also prohibits the employer or his representative from taking any action that could disrupt the practice of trade union activities, dismissing a worker or discriminating in wages and privileges among workers due to their membership in a trade union.
The provisions of the draft law do not apply to the military and police forces. They only apply to civil workers in state authorities.
The term of trade unions’ boards are set for four years starting from the date of publishing the results of the election in the Egyptian Gazette.
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