A draft labor law that is expected to be implemented in Egypt has elicited a negative reaction from labor activists.
During his speech in celebration of Labor Day on Sunday, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi urged the parliament to finalize the legislation of several laws that are expected to regulate labor and workers’ rights, including the labor law.
The draft law proposes dividing salaries into basic and variable portions, activist Fatma Ramadan told a local newspaper.
The law also neglects the issue of arbitrary dismissal and does not entail collective negotiations between workers and business owners, she said adding that it doesn’t encourage business owners to reach pacts with workers.
When it comes to maternity leave, the law is discriminatory, Ramadan said, adding that women in the governmental sector are given four months while those in the private sector are allowed to take only three months.
Al-Sisi said on Sunday that the government would allocate EGP100 million from the Tahya Misr Fund to the Labour Emergency Fund to support factories, projects, and workers.
Al-Sisi asked people in business to help workers and said the government is keen on reviving the prospects of those in large labor sectors, especially the textile industry.
He said legislation of the law would help regulate workers’ rights.
Another proposed legislation, Independent Labor Unions Law, has also elicited a negative reaction from activists.
However, Gamal Abdel Nasser, secretary of the parliament’s labor committee, said the panel has taken into account feedback from a wide cross-section of people.
Recently, workers in different companies belong to several labor sectors went on strike, complaining about unfair salaries that are insufficient to cover their daily expenses.
They cited worsening conditions, especially over the last three months, as Egypt faced a series of price hikes due to the recent economic decisions made by the government to comply with the terms of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan.
Human Rights Watch, a human rights watchdog, recently asked the Egyptian authorities to amend laws to make workers able to negotiate labor terms.