ETUF history to those who ignore edited byMostafa rostom trranslated by mohamed mostafa


News Agency of Arab workers: Since its establishment  in 1957 .the Egyptian trade union federationwas the only legal trade union


organization in Egypt, and has received anofficial status under the law 35 for the year 1976.the federation  was also a tool in the hands of the state, inspite of the drastic changes in the policy of Economic and social developmentsince the fifties of the last century , In the past decade, the affiliatedmembers of Egyptian trade union federation  amounted to membership of 3.8 million out of aworkforce consisting of approximately 27 million. And  all members of the federation work almost inthe public and government sectors. The main  task of Egyptian trade union federationWorkers Union is to  preserve the rightsof workers. the grievances of the workers were embodied in their opposition tothe campaign of privatization of public sector enterprises, which began withthe announcement by President Anwar Sadat's policy of "open-door"economic year 1974. Since then, the successive Egyptian governments began,reluctantly, hesitantly at first, in the restructuring of the economy accordingto the model of the "Washington Consensus" economic called for by theInternational Monetary fund and the World Bank and the U.S. government. In June1991, the Government of Egyptian  President Hosni Mubarak agreements"program of economic restructuring and structural adjustment" withthe International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, where he put the law 203 of1991 under the privatization of 314 public institutions. the leaders ofEgyptian trade union  have resisted, theproposals of expand the private sector at the expense of the public sector fora decade and a half, and agreed eventually to "restructuring program ofeconomic and structural adjustment" and the law 203.2 Similarly, theEgyptian federation resisted  (butsuccumbed in the end also) the enactment of the Unified Labor in 2003.Considered this "flexibility" in the labor market is necessary toattract foreign investment, but it ruled on the job security that workers enjoyin the era of Abdel Nasser . As the number of new jobs in the private sectorwas much lower than the number of new entrants to the labor market, includingjob security in the public sector was abolished, this issue has become a matterof disagreement repeatedly and in some cases.

And the leaders of Egyptian trade union have been  succeeded  in the introduction of provisions in the newlaw prohibit collective dismissal processes after the privatization of one ofthe companies in the public sector, and to provide compensations to workersaffected by privatization. However, it was the implementation of these aspectsof the laws in a weak manner.

However,  the leading figures of the Egyptianfederation  acquiesced to the economictransformation,

 but a lot of the rules ofthe federation did not do so. The move escalated that controversial afterDR.Ahmed Nazief  government tookofficial(prime minister) directly. And indicates the highest estimate of the numberof labor protests from 1988 to 1993 to the number 162, an average of 27  protests in the 5 year and from 1998 to 2003,the average annual collective action for up to 118. But in the year 2004, therewere 265 collective action, there were more than 70 percent of them after aDR.Ahmed Nazeif  government took office(primeminister) in July. Movement initially concentrated in the textile industry,which has been a target for privatization, but by 2007 the movement includedalmost all areas of industry and public services, transport, civil servants andprofessionals.

There were only three of independent trade unions were not subject to theruling direct control , General Union of Independent Workers' of real estate taxes,that is considered the largest and most powerful to date, which represents theemployees who employed by local authorities. The movement that led to theformation of an independent trade union in the fall of 2007, began when a staffauthority of real estate taxes for the national committee of the strike, led byKamal Abu Eita to lead a coordinated campaign to support their demands forequal wages with tax officials who are employed by the Ministry of Financedirectly, who were paid higher much. The discrepancy arose because of abureaucratic reorganization took place several years ago, which led to theexistence of a group of scribes who are paid low wages of those employed bylocal authorities with fewer resources from the central government.

after more than half a century. Two independent trade unions have beenestablished for the technicians in the field of health care and teachers beforethe end of the year 2010.

Economic and political demands:

Workers has become by far the largest  elements of a  protest culture booming in the first decade ofthe second millennium, and that has undermined the legitimacy of the Mubarakregime, where they have much less attention from the pro-democracy movements ofthe middle class, such as Kifaya.movement  But until 2010, did not promote only a smallminority of workers' democratic transformation as a strategic objective. Itsought strikers or protesters usually to appeal to the power of the systemrather than challenge it publicly, by inviting Mubarak or the Minister in theCouncil of Ministers to visit them and hear their complaints.

At the end of the Mubarak era.  NagiRashad, a worker in pill mill south of Cairo has been resided, a lawsuit led toa court ruling in March / April 2010 requires the government to set a minimum"fair" wage. The National Council for wages  proposed increase in theminimum wage for the basic monthly wage to 400 pounds (about $ 67). However itwas not enough, that would be a big increase if the government enacted a lawproposal, but they did not do.

In the first of May / June, 2010, hundreds of workers gathered and theirsupporters in front of  the parliament,demanding the government to the implementation of the judicial ruling and set aminimum basic monthly wage by 1,200 pounds, "he said.

And because the workers did not trust usually  the opposition representatives as strangersseeking to impose their own agendas, there was a fragile and intermittent linksonly between these two forces. Therefore, when Mubarak left power, it was notin a position to offer workers the nation's political leadership, as did thePolish trade union movement "Solidarity" in the year 1989.

it was announced the establishment of the Egyptian Federation of IndependentTrade Unions break the monopoly of the Egyptian trade union federation legaltrade union organization, it was a revolutionary act becomes breach the legalbasis for a new legitimacy

The independent trade union of  taxesworkers established a new federation with the support of the Center for TradeUnion and Workers Services, a non-governmental organization with a popular basefocusing on labor issues was established in the year 1990. And joined byretirees syndicate.

The legal basis for the position Of DR.Ahmed hassan  Borai( ministry of manpower and migration) basedon that the ratification of Egypt to the treaties of the International LabourOrganization, which guarantees freedom of association and protection of theRight  of trade union  Organization (No. 87) and the right toorganize and collective bargaining (No. 98), the form of obligations underinternational treaties invalidated national legislation which established theEgyptian trade union federation as the only legal union in Egypt. Therefore,DR.Borai admitted  the EgyptianFederation of Independent Trade Unions and dozens of independent trade unionsinstitutional newly originated ..

. Despite the important role played by workers in the delegitimization of theMubarak regime and to continue mobilization, the  independent labor movement could notachieve  gains on the national political scene.they has had a very limited presence in the emerging institutions of thepost-Mubarak state - such as the Constituent Assembly and the first parliament;institutions which could have been used to ward off attacks by politicalopponents.

With the launch of trade union freedoms since last March, the government seeksto provide trade union freedoms law, which provides ways mechanisms forcollective bargaining and social dialogue. And accompanied by the amendment of  rules and procedures for the formation oftrade union organizations and their affiliates in the Trade Unions Act, whichprovided an opportunity for the first time both the pool of functions or atrade union or workers to form a union to its members, and the Egyptian tradeunion federation  finally received  numerous requests, including for the establishmentof trade unions to short stature and drivers «tuk-tuk» and divers and day laborers.Etc..

So we are in front of the new phenomenon of trade union  and unprecedented Since the formation of thefirst organized union Egyptian promulgation of the law in 1890, and sinceEgypt's initiative property to join formally to the International LabourOrganization in 1936 after gaining independence in the same year, which is theonly international organization that brings in its membership of each Staterepresentatives of government, business and labor together.

The Egyptian trade union federation  hasrejected the principle of trade union pluralism since its inception in 1957,without attempting to study the issue a comprehensive study, and anticipate thenew variables that may impose itself on the events or take a flexible attitudetowards the challenge of trade union pluralism with the creation of what couldbe termed «platforms union» within the trade union federation, to takeadvantage of the idea of developing one Egyptian political organization (theNational Union and the Arab Socialist Union) to partisan political pluralismfrom the mid-seventies.

And concerning the professional trade unions, the recent years have seen anoticeable increase in number with the adoption of the Egyptian politicalsystem of political pluralism, which was also reflected on its role, wherecrossed some professional trade unions traditional roles of protecting theprofession and the development and expression of the demands of the members tonew roles play a political role through the interest  of national political issues and foreignpolicy issues.

And concerning communities or business groups, there is a system of businessgroups, which reflect the new activities or new area for civilian institutionsassociated with economic policy adopted by the state since the seventies andwell-known policy of economic openness, the first of those groups has beenemerged named , the Council  of EgyptianAmerican. There are also chambers of commerce, which reflect the interests of thebroad base of businessmen and employers . the membership of these chambers roomsis compulsory and it is consider a condition to exercise the profession.

So look features of the phenomenon of trade union pluralism, which kept pacewith democracy of political pluralism, it was a phenomenon around  the house disagreement between the two teams,the owners of the call  within the tradeunion movement to preserve the Egyptian one trade union organization, and theowners call for trade union pluralism.

The first team considers the idea of only trade union organization  who takes it the trade union movement andEgyptian based General Union became a dam to the advancement of the trade unionmovement, because it is a monopoly organization and focuses power, the generalsyndicate alone that have the right to organize industrial workers bearing thename, and may not be formed another syndicate of workers in this industry.

This means in the perception of the owners of the call that the general tradeunion pluralism imposed itself imposed on workers and blocked the road in frontof another trade unions configuration, reinforced this monopoly by law and bygiving these trade union discount affiliation fees right of the salary once therequest from the departments of factories.

At the same time, the concentration of power which alone is the alone owner  affiliation  and personal legal origin, which act inaffiliation fees, which oversees elections, union committees and electionsthemselves according to origin game done perfectly , building blocs group, so ,the general assembly of delegates union committees can not coming fromAlexandria to Aswan, but obey the plan set by the General Union.

On the other hand, sees opposition to the idea of one trade unionorganization that trade union pluralism is the most powerful incentive for theGeneral Union to work, and that pluralism is an existing image in Britain,America and most countries in the world. It was not known per Workers unionmonopoly only when the communist regimes imposed on workers, and imposingone-party rule and central planning, which was a cause of the socialist systemcollapsed.

the opponents  confirm to the idea of theone trade union organization that the trade union pluralism which enrich thework of trade union and to ensure its effectiveness and protect it from sellingout under the control of somebody from outside the working class, but when itcomes to the interests common to all workers in an enterprise or a professionat the national level, coordination and unity of will  become necessity, something that takes placein many of the countries that take a pluralistic union, where we find involvedin a lot of unified trade union works, such as labor strikes common when itcomes to common interests, such as the face of austerity economic governmentrelies mainly on the abridgement of the rights and benefits unions.

Finally. The opponents of the idea of one trade union organization justifytheir call for trade union pluralism correct interpretation of theInternational Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 87 of 1948 concerningFreedom of Association, which is the standard for trade union freedoms.

This means that the launch of trade union freedoms since last March, thegovernment has sought to make the law of trade union freedoms inaugurates a newera of democracy it is important to capture the interests of political thinktanks, economic and social to codify and rationalize the Egyptian draft charterfor political freedoms and economic and social development.

The reasons for the success of trade union pluralism in some European countriessuch as France and confusion results in some neighboring countries such as Moroccoand Algeria, told us «I think that the reasons for the stability of trade unionpluralism in Europe due to historical factors objectively the most important ofthe long history of the traditions of freedom organization political and civilas a solid corner stone of foundation of  democratic system which allows completefreedom of trade unions different in the move, in addition to that politicalparties have sought to establish trade unions associated in whole or inrelatively implement policies in the field of trade union and social added thatEurope seized clear rules and precise representative trade unions andrepresentative acknowledged this and considered socially partner full rights.

Trade union structure:

the trade union organization in Egypt take hierarchical form, the trade unioncommittees representing its base, then topped with the General Union for arange of professions or similar or related industries, and comes on top of theGeneral Federation of Trade Unions.

First: the union committee

Union committee plays a prominent role in trade union activity, as directlyrelated to the broad base unions in enterprises and the various projects.

A – formation  of union committee

Union committee of the facility:

 the formation of a union committee ofthe facility if the union showed fifty workers - at least – of the workersfacility  their desire in the compositionof the trade union committee. The aim of the requirement for a minimum numberof employees interested in the formation of trade union committee is the desireto be configured union committee seriously do not arise trade union committeesare weak or sham.

The facility is each project or facility run by someone from persons public orprivate law, and is in the rule established branch, which is located in thenon-city, which the main center as well as areas in the services sector areexisting , the General Union is identifying the required branch facility, whichis available with the elements of the formation of the union within the limitsRegulations set by the General Union of The General Federation of Trade Unionsto decide any dispute arising in this regard.

 professional syndicate Committee:

Permissible for workers installations that at least the number of employees ineach of less than fifty workers to be among them Committee union professionalat the level of one city, provided that the number of applicants to join thiscommittee fifty workers, at least, to be workers one of the branches ofprofessions or industries represented by the General Union.

Terms of reference of the General Union:

Identified the article "14" of the Trade Unions Act some of thegeneral terms of reference of the union, which has undertaken at the level ofoccupations or industries that comprise, namely:

A - defending the rights of workers and take care of their interests.

B - to improve the terms and conditions of employment.

C -  to raise the level of cultural andsocial workers.

D - Participation in the development and implementation of plans and programsof vocational training.

E - oversight  and guidance and follow-upand supervision of the activity of union committees.

And - with the participation of trade union committees in the conduct ofcollective bargaining and signed the joint work contracts.

G - to express an opinion on legislations that affecting on the profession orindustry.

H - Approval of the projects invested by the committees of trade union fundsand in accordance with the rules specified by the financial regulations of thetrade union organizations as well as the approval of the projects fundsthat  adopted  on labor law.

I - agreed on the organization of the workers strike in accordance with theregulations organized by the labor law.

Z - the establishment of funds to meet the financial burden resulting from thestrike.

Third: The Egyptian trade union federation

Sits the General Federation of Trade Unions at the top of the Egyptian tradeunion structure,  The Egyptian federation is leading the Egyptian trade unionmovement and draws its overall policy achieved its objectives both internallyand externally.

A - the formation of the Egyptian trade union federation.

The Egyptian trade union federation consist of the total General unions received occupational classification scheduleAnnex law unions.

Accordingly, the membership of the Egyptian trade union federation are legalpersons only and  is the General unions.And that the year 2011 when he was Professor Ahmed Hassan El-Borai Minister ofManpower and Training ministry ran a broad dialogue on the draft law «trade unionfreedoms in Egypt. the dialogue ran between the number of representatives ofthe currents of different  trade uniondirections  and that crystallized duringthe past few years, a period in which witnessed greater vigils for workers fromoutside the umbrella union organization unified and appeared where theso-called independent  trade unions ,next to all that has been active civil society organizations, human rightsdealing with application of the Covenant Economic and Social Council issued ofthe United Nations, as well as freedom of association  Conventions  well known with Conventions No. 87 and No. 98issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1948 and the site onthem by the Egyptian state in 1957.

It is important to mention that the former minister invited to these meetings,which discussed the law, all fronts are on the scene of trade union trends. andhad them businessmen  and representativesof all chambers of commerce and tourism as it was of them left wing, includinga representative of the Egyptian trade union federation-based and among themtrade unionist  Mr. Kamal Abuaath who hadfounded already independent union also called on the minister to the meeting,three representatives of the Organization of the wings labor union arm of theMuslim Brotherhood them Professors Khaled Azhari and  Bayoumi, who become Mr. Kamal Abuaath themembers of the Egyptian parliament.

This dialogue has raised many of the views expressed by some as a step towardsthe fragmentation of the trade union movement on the pretext that theyconsolidated movement and represented by the Egyptian trade union federationwith its diversity general unions of local formations and hierarchicalorganization as stated in the Act 35 of 1976. While he saw others as anecessity in a society taken some time ago to the principle of economicpluralism then saw for the first time, after the revolution of January 25,2011, political pluralism complete and therefore is no longer acceptable not totake the labor movement with the same curriculum, the Platform for trade unionpluralism and some saw this other applicable in practice daily in the Egyptianstreet..which has taken by  sets ofworkers and set up independent trade unions away from the structure of theEgyptian trade union federation .the court  issued eliminate current provisions forlawsuits filed by labor and civil society organizations have been activeleaders of the workers' protest movement does not belong to natural formationstrade union official. And more denounced quite a few of the protest- stands ofthe official trade union organizations and led by the federation itself.

This resulted in a dialogue bill «trade union freedoms, in general  accordance, then approved by the previousCabinet and referred to the Military Council for ratification into law andenforceable. At the same time  Egypt cameout after the revolution and after putting this draft law as a state of theblack list of the International Labour Organisation to become a model fordemocratic transformation union, which was the product of «one of therevolutions of the Arab Spring» and taken by example. But the military councildid not take a decision pending the completion of the elections of the People'sAssembly and Shura Council and exit the law by both of them..

 Mr. President of the Egyptian federationcited in his article passes workers juncture serious a phase shift of slaveryto the stage of the rights that missed them, and we try to get them through thelegal frameworks, which lost its legitimacy since bring labor law falsehood No.12 of 2003, which passed by Parliament in absence from the state, and in thatlaw and the participation of the sound of falsehood who agreed to pass to beafter the slaughter of the workers.

But the Leaders of Egyptian trade union federation  are determined to return the right of theworkers, and we will fight with all our weapons in order to support thelegitimacy, and assure we as workers will take only the rights of our workers,and will not assassinate the rest of the legitimate rights, and I would like toemphasize that we will not play on the parties for the sake of interest orchair evanescent others sat on it and left not they repentant.

House owners official labor and our valued workers .. Who do not belong to anygroup, you are constructive legitimate than others perverted things the nationaleconomy, and history has proved that you are the real leaders workers forcommunities .. We promise you that we are working hand-in-hand, and change ourconsumer laws, and precedence interest right not wrong, and raise the slogan ofworkers gear homeland and a time machine, and will only subside their ways towork and production, and you my decision-makers .. We are all in  one shipnof will never sink as long as theworkers led by the owners of the first flame of the revolution of January 25.

O hands immaculate labor .. Hey blue collar .. With us tomorrow will be betterthan the Orient through which imagined visions from now on . And pledge thatour portfolio is full of laws and health and social care will be mandatoryadjusted the coming period, before legitimacy roads, and soon every day Visitin your house labor and sit down with you and offer you solutions that show thetruth and lost falsehood.

Via all workers everywhere all calls the return of rights and duties, God madeus and you always of support  right andhis men, and dismiss falsehood of all paths.

We believe that the great Egyptian revolution  not only on the wings of Egyptian workershonorable, the forefront youth dreamer of a better future, those workers who sacrifice in order to achieve their dreams everyeffort and sweat, under the  unjust  system  missedtheir rights and life safe, but he never did not obtain from their proud anddignity, Out of the principles of the January 25 revolution glorious, declarefrees us full of all the restrictions that were imposed on trade unionorganization, and we emphasis on freedom and independence, as we declare full solidarity with any organized union arises under legitimacyand  law, have loyalty only for thebenefit of the Egyptian worker.

So announce that we are extending our hands to all unions and labororganizations International that protect and defend on the rights of workers,and that our commitment to the standards of international conventions, providedthat under national law of the country, and pursuant to the freedom andindependence of the trade union action in Egypt, as we extend our hands in allsincerity to start a dialogue union be his only goal consensus views and standon the saw one benefit of the full benefit for the Egyptian workers, so as tocorrect the course of trade union organization in Egypt, returning structuredaims to preserve the rights of workers and boost production, and the advancementof human development to uphold Egypt's workers.

* By Mustafa Rostum (Director of International Relations General Federation ofTrade Unions of Egypt).


translated by .

Mohamed Mostafa Ahmed.
International relation member