Cabinet approves draft law on trade union freedoms

The cabinet approved a draft law Wednesday that would grant more freedom to trade unions if approved by the ruling military council.

The draft law aims to codify the principles of the revolution, among them improving workers' rights and achieving social justice, reported the state-run MENA news agency.

The cabinet is expected to submit the draft law to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which has the power to pass laws in the transition period. The SCAF may also introduce some amendments to the draft law before giving its final approval.

The Manpower and Immigration Ministry proposed last August to issue a law on the freedom of trade unions after consulting independent rights and labor organizations.

Observers believe that the law will help workers have equal rights and achieve many of their demands.

The trade union law would give workers the right to establish and form independent unions without any restrictions from the government, Kamal Abbas, the general coordinator of the Center for Trade Union and Workers Services, told Al-Masry Al-Youm in August.

The draft law includes canceling Law 35/1976, which facilitates state control over trade unions in terms of finances, formation and promulgation of basic regulations. The bill also allows workers at government or privately owned institutions to form trade unions, provided that they include at least 250 workers and no less than 50 founders, as also stipulated in the old law.

The new draft law, though, does not require unions to be affiliated with any of the 24 unions in the Egyptian Trade Union Federation, which was the only trade union association in Egypt until the revolution.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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