EgyWatch – June 12, 2019

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Tuesday announced its short-term list, known as ‘the Blacklist’, of states violating the rights and freedom of workers.

The list included Egypt for violating the organisation’s C.87 convention concerning workers’ freedom of association for furthering and defending workers’ interests. The decision came Law No. 213 was passed in 2017 concerning trade unions and the right to freedom of association. The law imposed difficult conditions on workers’ freedom of association.

Egypt was backlisted between 2008 and 2010 and was relieved after the January 25 Revolution when a progressive draft of trade unions code was proposed. In 2014, ILO relieved Egypt again upon promises by the Egyptian government to pass a law allowing trade unions after parliamentary elections. However, Egypt was blacklisted again in 2017.

Placing Egypt in the ILO’s blacklist has had a detrimental effect on investments in Egypt. “Placing Egypt on the [ILO] blacklist list has had destructive economic consequences,” said Shaban Khalifa, head of the workers’ committee of the Egyptian Conservatives Party. “Egypt has lost up to $10 billion of investment,” he added.