Discussion of 40 articles of the draft trade union organizations and the right to organize law in two hours

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)       

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Program

Surprisingly and unexpectedly, the General Secretariat of the House of Representatives submitted, after 1 pm on Tuesday 7/11/2017, the draft law on trade union organizations and the right to organize, and put it for discussion and approval immediately after it presented an agenda that did not include this this draft at the beginning of the day, in a proactive step, before the ILO Standards Committee comes to Cairo on November 13, as agreed in advance, to review the proposed draft articles and to ensure that it conforms to the international standards of freedom of association, that it is not in conflict with the conventions signed by Egypt, especially No. 87 of 1948, and to provide the necessary expertise in this regard .. In preparation for lifting Egypt from the “short list” of countries that do not comply with the standards of freedom of association, in order to avoid the consequent damage to the Egyptian economy ..

The discussion of the draft articles submitted by the government and its official union started immediately. In less than two hours, 40 articles (the most dangerous articles of the draft) were approved, the discussion and the approval will continue today, to be accomplished as expected.

It is strange that the MPs of the 25/30 bloc have clarified, during the discussion and deliberation, the risks of approving the project with such a clear deviation from Egypt’s international obligations and its impact on the Egyptian economy, however, the “Support Egypt” bloc undermined the risks outlined by 25/30 MPs and ended up approving the previously mentioned articles almost unchanged.

ANHRI issued a statement yesterday calling on the parliament to slow down the adoption of the law and to put it to a public debate and a comprehensive social dialogue, in which all trade union organizations (both the official and independent), parties and all concerned civil society organizations participate, in order to avoid the risks resulting from the absence of trade union freedoms ..

All we have now is the pledge of some of the 25/30 MPs, during their positive and active participation in a seminar yesterday evening at the Egyptian Communist Party. The seminar was attended by representatives of the Egyptian Democratic Union Congress, the Supreme Council of Independent Trade Unions, the Freedom of Association and Labor Rights Campaign, the Trade union services house, and some party and trade union leaders.

The MPs accepted and pledged to submit a request to “re-deliberate” the most dangerous articles previously approved, in a new attempt to repair what can be repaired ..

Of course this is not going to be easy because this request requires the approval of at least 20 MPs, which may be difficult.

Finally we would like to thank the MPs who were keen to attend the seminar and to inform the attendees of what happened, despite their commitments and although they had to stay late at the parliament, and then went to the seminar.. Namely:

1 – MP/ Nashwa al-Deeb ……………. Imbaba

2- MP/ Diaa al-Din Daoud …………..  Damietta

3 – MP/ Ahmed Tantawi …………….  Mansoura

4 – MP/ Talaat Khalil …………….  Suez

5 – MP/ Mohammed Abdelghany ………   al-Amireya

6 – MP/ Nadya Henry …………….   Masr al-Gadida

7- MP/ Ehab Mansour …………… Omraneya


Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Program

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)       

Wednesday, 8 November, 2017