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Honored the French Republic’s Human Rights Prize

The Governmental Trade Union Federation Against Trade Union Freedoms

Opportunists and Sticking to Personal Interests

The Center for Trade Union and Workers Services, 28th May 2011:

The “governmental Trade Union Federation announced its refusal to the Draft Law
on Trade Union Freedoms. This explains how far the leaders of this Federation
uphold all the restrictions imposed on trade union freedoms which are provided
explicitly in the Trade Unions Law No. 35 for the year 1976 and its amendments No.
12 for the year 1995. It was according to such provisions that the government has
dominated the trade union organization and forced the workers to join its
membership. The government put on top of this organization a group of its stooges
who were not elected by the grassroots. Most of those leaders are beyond the age of
retirement and many of them are over 70 years old. They cannot care less about the
will and the interests of the workers.

It is worth mentioning that the “draft new law on trade unions” aims to launch trade
union freedoms according to the provisions of trade union freedoms and the right to
organization as stipulated by the International Labour Conventions No. 87 and No. 98
which the government of Egypt has ratified. This allows the government of Egypt to
ask the International Labour Organization to lift the name of Egypt from the List of
Individual Cases (the black list). Egypt violated its international obligations and was
put on that list because Law No. 35 for the year 1976 and its amendments were in
breach of the provisions of these two international conventions. While the leaders of
the “governmental” federation announced their refusal of the draft Law on Trade
Union Freedoms, they emphasize that they consider their own interests and their
positions (which they occupy against the will of the workers) more important than the
national interests. It is the same situation that made these leaders stand against the
revolution of the Egyptian people since its outbreak on 25th January. And it is the
same situation that made Mr. Hussein Megawer the president of the Federation (who
is now in jail) take part in the attack against the protestors of Midan el Tahrir in the
famous event known as the Battle of the Camel.

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Moreover, the leaders of the Federation are getting ready now to travel to Geneva to
attend the International Labour Conference. A delegation comprising more than 23 of
the leaders of the federation will attend the conference. We do not know how the
costs of this delegation will be covered: from the subscriptions of the workers who
are calling all the time for their rights while these leaders give them a deaf ear, from
the government, or from some of the chairmen of public business companies as was
the case in the past?

The leaders of the governmental federation are still following the same approaches of
the past. They do not realize that the Egyptian people revolted for freedom. Freedom
does not only mean toppling down a tyrant and corrupt ruler. It also means getting rid
of all the corrupt institutions on the top of which is the “governmental” trade union

The Center for Trade Union and Workers Services calls upon the government to
support the principles of the revolution and accelerate the issuance of the Law on
Trade Union Freedoms in order to liberate the will of the Egyptian workers.