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Capacity building in Egypt

21 August, 2014During a series of seminars in Egypt, independent unions and IndustriALL affiliates called upon the government to adopt workers' suggested amendments to the drafted Labour Law.

Following industrial actions in the workplace, the last few years have seen an increase in the number of independent unions in Egypt. 

During the first half of August, IndustriALL Global Union organized four capacity building seminars for industrial unions in Egypt. The 80 representatives from affiliates and potential affiliates in metal, petrochemicals, textile, oil and gas unions, were introduced to strategic organizing skills.   

Egypt has among the highest numbers of multinational companies (MNCs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It is also one of the top four MENA countries hosting MNCs signatories to global framework agreements (GFA).

IndustriALL's program focused on introducing international tools on organizing and defending workers' rights in MNCs and their supply chain. The sessions discussed strategies on the implementation of GFAs and the application of OECD Guidelines for MNCs, as well as company level networking.

Experts shared their input on international labor standards and ILO conventions with relation to the current draft Labour Law presented by the Egyptian government. Participants emphasized that the absence of union freedoms law is a key challenge for the development and growth of the independent union movement and workplace democracy in Egypt. They called on the government and Egyptian authorities to urgently adopt the draft discussed and introduced by unions.

Intense discussions and insights at industry and national levels enabled representatives to identify common objectives and develop strategies for the respective industries. Union growth, adopting fair labour and trade union laws, organizing and industry level coordination are the main objectives for joint work in the future.

Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL Global Union Assistant General Secretary says:

Despite the serious challenges faced by our Egyptian colleagues in the independent unions, strong will and enthusiasm still constitute the major drive of workers struggle for better future. IndustriALL is happy with the progress of cooperation and will continue the efforts to include more our Egyptian colleagues in our global family.