No guarantee of rights

Same as last year

Egypt is one of the 10 worst countries in the world for working people

  • Repressive laws against union formation
  • Union busting and dismissals

Workers in Egypt remained deprived of their basic rights and freedoms at work, while many independent trade unions were still seeking re-registration after their arbitrary dissolution in 2018.

Strikes were systematically suppressed, with workers arrested and detained by police forces and strikers later dismissed by their employers.

In 2022, amendments to the Labour Law were presented to the House of Representatives, without any consultation with independent trade union organisations.

Workers' rights violations

Right to free speech and assembly

In Egypt, workers were not allowed to celebrate May Day. In other events, independent trade unions were prevented from holding meetings and owners of meeting halls were pressured to cancel reservations made by trade unions.

Right to trade union activities

In Egypt, all independent unions were dissolved in March 2018. Since then, many have faced countless administrative hurdles and in 2023 were still seeking official registration with the authorities. In 2023, the authorities refused to register independent unions established in the following sectors: garment, agriculture, glass industry, telecommunications, street vendors and taxi drivers.

Where a yellow union already existed in the workplace, unions met further difficulties, with employers claiming that under the 2017 law, only one trade union committee can be set up, thus preventing the formation of a new union. In 2023, this was the case for independent unions at the Library of Alexandria, the Post Office, several Teachers Local Units and unions in the judiciary.

Union busting

In Egypt, employers often withheld union dues despite check-off agreements, as was the case at Pasta Regina, a food producer that employed over 1,500 workers in Cairo.

Right to collective bargaining

Employers in the garment sector in Egypt often did not respect the provisions of concluded collective agreements.

Dismissals for participating in strike action

In Egypt, workers were frequently victims of retaliation and were summarily dismissed for taking part in strike actions, including at steel producer Beshay Company and Pasta Regina, a food producer.

The strike organised at Beshay was also brutally repressed by the police.

Human rights activists protest at the COP27 climate talks in Egypt. Across the country working people were deprived of their basic rights and freedoms, making it one of the worst countries for workers.Joseph Eid / AFP

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