Group withdraws bid for independent labor union

An Egyptian labor rights organization decided on Tuesday to withdraw from an initiative seeking to establish an independent labor union, citing serious disagreements.

In a statement, the Center for Trade Unions and Workers' Services said that despite the decision, it will continue to defend laborers' rights and freedoms.

It said it will also resume its calls to issue a law that grants workers the freedom to establish independent unions.

The center's coordinator, Kamal Abbas, said in the statement that problems and disagreements that have surfaced signal potential conflicts that will only serve the interests of enemies of labor freedoms and the official Egyptian Trade Union Federation.

For decades, the Egyptian Trade Union Federation was the only labor federation allowed to exist.

After former President Hosni Mubarak's resignation in February, several labor activists and workers began efforts to establish an independent workers federation.

The Preparatory Conference for the Egyptian Federation of Independent Unions, held in March, signaled the inception of Egypt's first independent trade union federation since 1957.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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