Egypt mulls subsidized goods, increased benefits for laborers

The government is considering discounts on basic commodities for workers in an attempt to fend off potential labor protests, informed requesting anonymity sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The sources added that the government is currently engaged in earnest discussions with the Egyptian Trade Union Federation to establish class cooperatives that offer basic commodities for laborers at wholesale prices.

Meanwhile, the Syndicate of Commercial Professions has decided to hold a meeting with representatives of staff at Omar Effendi retail chain Sunday to preempt possible strikes by workers who are threatening a sit-in if the company does not disburse January salaries.

Minister of Manpower and Immigration Aisha Abdel Hadi said the privileges provided to laborers have nothing to do with politics.

All the incentives for workers will be delivered according to their established system, regardless of political considerations, including the presidential elections, the minister said in an exclusive statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Abdel Hadi said the cabinet would not discuss any increases in labor incentives, adding that the president's directives always serve the interests of laborers and aim to enhance their conditions without political motives.

But sources informed of the negotiations said workers will enjoy additional privileges such as an increase in the annual social insurance bonus from 10 percent to 20 percent.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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