The Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) warned against attempts to exclude it from discussions held by the Manpower Ministry over the trade unions’ freedoms draft law.
It also described the prevention of ETUF chief Gebali al-Maraghy from attending discussions at the ministry about the draft law as "strange and surprising," especially with representatives of independent trade unions being allowed to attend, according to a statement by the union.
Magdy al-Badawy, ETUF vice-chief and spokesperson, said preventing the federation chief from attending the meeting at the ministry “might be to create opportunity so other illegal independent trade unions could pass the law.” He also added that the issue represents a violation of international labor agreements which reject administrative intervention within affairs of labor work.
Badawy threatened to stage protests before the cabinet if it insisted on not consulting the federation over the draft law. “It’s unreasonable to pass law without agreement of the federation, which is the biggest trade union organization and includes five million workers."
Meanwhile, Kamal abu Eita, manpower minister, said what happened with the federation chief was an "unintentional mistake" and that the ministry is taking strict security measures following threats to burn some ministries’ headquarters. He added that the incident was a mistake by one of the ministries’ employees who had not included Maraghy’s name on the list of figures allowed to attend the meeting.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm