Derechos Human RightsReport
Land Center for Human Rights


"ECONOMIC SOCIAL RIGHTS" SERIES

7TH ISSUE

LABOR CONDITIONS IN EGYPT

DURING THE 1ST HALF OF 1999

DATE OF ISSUING
JUNE 1999



Land Center for Human Rights established in December 1996.
122 Galaa' St., Borg Ramsis Building, 7th floor, Ramsis Sq., Cairo Egypt.
( (202) 5750470, (202) 5750470
lchr@thewayout.net




INTRODUCTION

The publication of this report came few weeks after law No 153 for 1999 has been endorsed by the majority of the people's Assembly neglecting all the remarks and observations that are highlighted by various civil society associations and human rights groups on its draft.

The endorsement of the law in this way undoubtedly affirms the government's intention to tighten its grab on the civil work activities as it insists on principle of licensing instead of notifying. On top of that, the law's articles empowering the executive branch to usurp these institutions' General Assembly liabilities. And that would be done through refusing of founders and objecting of nominees for board of management. The law has also given the right for the executive branch to object on the basic charter of these organizations and on decisions that might viewed by it as defying the law.

On top of that, the draft law deliberations in the People's Assembly unveiled a strong hatred to the human right organizations deeds, which reveals the intention of the government to control the civil work's activities in Egypt. Such move came after the government has succeeded to firmly master laborers and professional syndicates and restricts the political parties and press by imposing much restrictive legislation.

The report is also published at a decisive historical moment on history of human rights movement, which proved to be an integral part of the nation's democratic development drive. This development has been first initiated by the movement of the students, laborers, farmers, pressmen and national political parties. All were sharing one aim that is to have a homeland under which all the citizens, rich and poor, would enjoy their ultimate rights in better life and freedom. Therefore, our seventh report in the series of Land Center's of Economic and Social Rights is monitoring laborers' protests trend during the period between 1/12/1998 to 31/5/1999. The report clearly shows the increase in number of these protests day after day and year after the other.

In brief laborers' conditions have extremely worsened in Egypt. Laborers of the public enterprises sector were especially the most affected ones by the application of a new law deregulating the function of this sector. Despite that there were also many other factors that led to the worsening of public enterprises sector' laborers. Such factors could be viewed in the light of the 25 years plans, which resulted in weakening the public sector' structures. Other factors represent in opening the door wider for many parasitic groups of the public to lot the nation wealth illegally and if it is necessary by a law. Finally the emergence of many corruption cases at public sector installations that were left hidden for long time.

With all that at hand, attempts are continued for selling the public enterprises profitable firms at lower prices than its real values. But the most remarkable is that until now the right in strike has not yet given for Egypt's laborers though their syndicates' stances are openly government-orientated ones. This is also goes despite there is a court rule that issued earlier and legalized such right. The rule was issued following the court hearing of the railways' laborers case in 1986. In the same vein, the law in Egypt does not stipulate the laborers right in forming private syndicates other than the official ones, which characteristically known to be in line with the governmental policy.

In spite of that, Egypt's laborer movement is still more dynamic showing its strength in the many protests that being staged here and there. All were calling for the attainment of laborers' legitimated rights starting from their right in work, rejection of dismissal orders, reduction of allowance and bonuses and finally defending all other rights offered to them.

Despite this fact, it is noticed that most of the protests occurred over this period were remained characteristically of a localized nature. It in other wards it meant that there was small number of these strikes or protests have not taken the collective form and was up to the ear in seeking different syndicated requirements. But the most it was noticeable was that neither the laborers' strikes nor their protests have addressed other rights than their syndicated demands.

However, despite the fact that laborers' protests number reached 80 during the previous six months, but all of them were observed to be limited to factory premises or the locality at which such protest occurred. That is with the exception of the strike staged by the national carrier's pilots. Moreover, the inefficiency of these protests may be attributed to two factors first the negative stance shown by laborers syndicates committees or general syndicates or the Labor Union toward them. The second is the wise handling of these protests by security authorities as they have managed in cooperation with factories' management to absorb the laborer anger and alternate their original demands. The later issue was to be attained for the interest of the factories' management that locked in a battle in which both security and governmental balancing has a role to play in it. The third factor contributed to the inefficiency of these strikes is attributed to the lack of support from the political parties.

It was also noticeable that despite most of these protests and strikes have staged at industrial sectors, but were all attributed to the reduction of laborers' salaries, wages and pensions. In the same respect, the report cited the contents of the Arab strategic report for 1999 they were all mostly prompted by management. This report has affirmed that what the Egyptian laborers earned during 1999 of salaries, wages and pension was about 48,5 of the country's gross national income. This figure reduced for to indicate that what the laborers really earn is about 28,5 of the gross national income of 1998. On the other hand the Arab's report has also indicated that property ownership right has risked from 51,55 in 1990 to reach 71,5 in 1998. It shows also that the most richest 20 of Egypt's citizens are controlling the major portion of the country's income that is more 20 than that of the national income reported in countries like Sweden, Denmark Finland and Austria.

In this respect, experts were of the view that rising in unemployment and poverty rates and souring of housing, education and health problems, which all ascribed to the implementation of economic reform policies in the country. The consequence of these policies implementation has probed many laborers to stage various sorts of protest in a trial to meet the necessary leaving demands (food, clothes and housing). The strange is that some other sectors of the manpower known to top the nation social ladder, such as pilots, tax directors and teachers, were also among those involved in the protests. Their bid was to rise their payment after the gap between incomes and expenses has been dramatically widened. The report also shows that most of these protests that occurred during the pervious period were due to the following reasons.

First: selling of government owned enterprise companies. To achieve this step companies' management has adopted many approaches to get rid of its workforce. First of which was by adopting the transfer of laborers to remote areas to oblige its laborers to quit the work in case of failure to adhere to the transfer orders. That has happened for 2,472 laborers of Cotton Ginning factories. They have ordered to be transferred from the company premises in Zaftig to El-Mansoura - about 60 km away. The same also happened to the 1600 laborers of the Gut Company in Shubra suburb of Cairo City, who were transferred to the company's factory in Balbas town in Sharkia province. The second approach followed by other companies to get rid of its manpower was the dismissal from work. That happened in the Egyptian Company for Gripes, which its board of management prevented 532 laborers from entering the company's premises by using polices forces that guarded the company's entrances.

The third approach was by introducing early retirement scheme without laborers effected approval. This happened in the Engineering Industries Company, which its management decided to send 1048 laborers to early retirement. The same approach used by National Company for Metals Industries. The company management sent 300 laborers to early pension that despite many laborers protests for being not benefited from this decision or for being exempted from having full rights of pension.

Second: Wages and allowances many of the nation factories have witnessed several strikes and set-on during the past period in protest against deducting of their allowances. This was evident in the strike launched by laborers of Western Mill Company. The laborers of this company declared their strike and set-on in the company's premises till the company's management withdrew its decision to reduce their allowance approved since last year. The same also happened at some other industrial sites such as General Motors company and Nile for Ready-made Clothes Company. At the latter, the female laborers staged a demonstration to protest against reducing their allowances. This demonstration did not ended until they have paid their backdated dues. Other companies were so harsh in dealing with this issue as they have totally concealed all the allowances and bounces that laborers used to have every year. This happened at the Neazia for electrical industries, Ferro-silicon Company and Mit Ghamer Textile Company.

The most noticeable in all these protests are the insistence of the management on their decisions and the interference of police forces to end laborers' protests. This was evident in what happened at The German- Egyptian for Electrical Transformers company. At this company the police forces have besieged the company's premises to end the sit-in of the laborers. Moreover, when they failed in doing that they have disconnect the company's water and electricity supply, but the protesters have got the support of the natives dwelling around the company's premises.

Third: Disappointment of the laborers In this regard, it appeared from a report prepared by the ministry of Social affairs that there are 1,720 companies not ensuring their factories' laborers. Moreover, a few are those who made insurance for a limited number of their laborers though indicated low payment for them. The same report showed that 51,5 of the private sector laborers are subscribed to insurance with payment less than LE 40 a month. And there is 13,3 of these laborers subscribing with payments less than LE50 a month. For this reason many of the laborers have protested for being not appointed at their workplaces. For instance, 2,820 labourers in Talkha Electricity station went on strike to protest against their disappointment, most of whom were in the services for more than three years. At the Covered Irrigation project 2700 laborers threatened to go on strike had not been covered by insurance. Most of these have been in services for seven years.

Other workforce categories:

New sectors of the nation manpower have been involved in this wave of strikes witnessed during the past six months of 1999. For instance, it was for the first time in its history that pilots of the national carrier Egyptian to stage a strike, which started on January 2, 1999 and continued for a month. The aim of this strike was that to force the management to approve of the demands of Egyptian pilots. Moreover the management in a trial to over come this problem had seek the assistance of Arab pilots who refused to answer its request. The situation has worsened as the company's technicians, co-pilots and other ground staff declared their solidarity with pilots. But the most noticeable is that police forces did not interfered to this strike.

The same has been practiced by the Real Assets taxation Department's employees for the first time. These employees protested against the minister of finance for his refusal to equally treat them like their colleagues in General taxation department. In pursuing this demand they have filed many complaints and memos to all concerned ministers, but in vain. So that they have finally staged a demonstration in front of the People's Assembly requesting the attainment of their demand.

Also at the Higher Council for Youth and Sports, the officials there protested against the Council director decision to reduce the nature of work allowance for 10 to 5 only. But polices forces have rapidly moved to the Council premises and besieged it. The strike ended when the Giza governor personally intervened and met the officials' request.

It is noticeable that most of these protests have ended in satisfactory results for both sides after the interference of some senior officials' as mediators to end these disputes away from the companies and factories management, which had failed in ending them from the very beginning.


Brief Notes on Egypt's Economic Readjustment Policies

It happened in many cases that tales of the success are explained to show one side of the reality. That is what exactly happening for the Egyptian government. The government always affirms its continuous success in executing its political reform program.

But none of the state responsible officials was able to tell us, even for once: what are the consequences of those allegedly successful policies on labors? How many of them either laid off? Early-pensioned or their wages and allowances were cutoff

. They have not told either are these successes that our government talks about discussed without its consequences being probed and taken into account.

We have also the right to ask are these policies going to achieve the real development of society? Would such policies help in minimizing the levels of poverty in the long or short run?

In this respect we would point out to the fact that though some successes have been achieved at monetary sector level, according to official statements, other sectors like public enterprises, agriculture, trade, manpower and many others have not realized any significant success under the auspices of these policies. And that would generally lead to increasing of numbers of poor peoples in Egypt and shrinking of living standards for other segments of the nation. The best example serving this end is the pilots strike staged during the past six months. The strike was judged effective and successful as the protesters were after increasing of their wages and allowances.

At the same time, it seems that the economic policies adopted by the government are not well coordinated with each other. Many examples are there to prove that fact. For instance, Laborers who are accepting to be early-pensioned there are many questions. What are these people would do with the money they get. Such question looks serious as the total funds spent till now reached billions of pounds, at the time thousands of laborers are there waiting for decisions to be early pensioned during upcoming periods. Undoubtedly if we want to answer this question the answer would be many, but most of these answers would be revolving around three main possibilities. First that the major portion of the fund that the labor would receive at the end of his service shall be spent on purchasing consumption items and that would contribute to increasing of inflation rates especially at short range. That is of course contradicting with the government monetary and financial policy, which aims at minimizing rates of inflation.

Second possibility is that such funds to be invested in businesses. Moreover, these investments general character is that they all of small size businesses. That would happen at the time while the rate of bankruptcy of thousands of such small businesses is rising and the link of that trend with increasing of the trade monopolies. In other words this means the decreasing of the real investment rates. The third possibility is mostly concern with the possibility of saving a part of these pension funds in banks as it assumed to increase local saving rates? This assumption looks totally doubtful, especially if we come to know that banks' credit policies are seriously facing a hardship in making use of saving funds. Until now a total of LE 229 billion of saving deposits at these banks have no enough investment means to be utilized.

Therefore, we can say that the three above-mentioned possibilities were not sufficiently contributing to increase the rates of investment, at least, in the short and medium run. Instead we hear that there is a strong assumption that the outcomes of these policies is bound to a recessional direction in the long run. On top of that we have to consider what these policies would cause of increasing in unemployment rates and shrinking in purchasing capability in a market apparently overwhelmed by recession and unable to find, in the same time, enough flexibility to escape such dwindling trend. This is of course goes counter to the government economic reforming policy that aims at increasing the market scope and injecting it with new bloods.

Despite all the assertion declared by much government officials concerning the noble aims of these policies' roles the situation of poor people and victims of these economic policies is still indistinct in the long run. This also goes despite all what have been said about the so called Social Security Bonds, that regrettably failed to present any solution for problems of poor or the victims of these policies.

It is worthy mentioning that many other projects that are designed said to protect the victims of these policies e-g The Social Development Fund, Shrouk scheme and many others. But most of these projects have not made any significant progress to be recognizable. In this respect, many studies affirmed that these programs were not realistically facing the actual reasons causing the poverty in the country.

The studies also showed that these projects were not meeting the actual demands of the local development as they were enforcing a series of alien policies to our local community concerning the development. In addition to the fact that they were formulated away from the real beneficiaries of its funds. Also there was not any exchange of opinions between the local, non-governmental organizations and other popular associations before planning these funds and projects

In addition to that the planners of these projects have intentionally disregarded a number of important indicators such as the decision of democratic concept, the participation in making such decisions and the kind of the assist the people want. They have also disregarded the calls for to show how the development processes could be achieved in a democratic way in Egypt. All those factors have contributed to limitation of the success of these funds and projects in attaining their targets and quelling reasons behind poverty.

But the worse is that these policy makers have not given intentionally the civil society institutions the freedom to democratically practice their activities. That at the time they were actively paving the way for investors and capitalists to establish their businesses and offering them more taxes exemptions and making all possible efforts to success.

Under these circumstances, It is noted that many of the nation sectors were barred from forming their own associations, parties or publishing their papers. Furthermore, they have also denied the right to differ with government to consolidate the real democratic movement in the country and help in attaining its development objectives and control poverty widening standards.

These decision-markers haven't also exerted any efforts to narrow the gab in understanding the meaning of the economic freedom and political freedom. They were also unable to explain how could we settle the clear contradiction in understanding of the economic liberalization and the political authority power. A matter which can not be understood without a real democratic environment. Henceforth, we believe that the failure in answering that or at least neglecting these fears will not help in achieving a single target of these programs or development's targets they talk about day and night.

Again, within the context of the declared government's plans, through which it often affirms the continuity of selling the business of the public sector enterprises for the fifth year, we have to ask For whom this sector's facilities would be sold? Where are their revenues or returns? And what are the standards or specifications according to which the evaluation process of these assets have been based?

Supposedly, if we have to agree with the government policies, which are, said to necessitate getting rid of these sector facilities. Is it not possible for us to think immovably together in how to make best use of its selling revenues? Moreover, in doing this we have to consider that the entire populations of the Egyptian society are the real owners of these facilities, which they had paid its cost from their blood and efforts through many generations. For such a crystal clear fact is it not enough to encourage us seek the formation of an independent institution to reevaluate, sell and discuss with the government the prices of selling of this sector's companies and installations.

Moreover, we have to state Is it unfair to probe with the (government) the destiny of would-be laid-off or dismissed laborers? Taking in consideration that these people's future apparently being decided without any control, protection for their rights or even consideration for their roless on the nation's production drives.

Another question is: Is it not of just to discuss with these policy-makers the outcome of the current work conditions that led to overusing of laborers for more extra working hours. Non-of these laborers under the current tense conditions have the time to care for his family's entertainment or education. He even has no time to rest to maintaining his physical health.

We again ask Is it of any just, amid all that woes, that laborers and other sectors be barred from forming their organizations that express their opinions through peaceful ways? All that happens despite the High Constitutional Court has affirmed the legitimacy of this right in its rule issued in April 14 1995. It also happens despite the fact that the laborers' protests occurred during 1989 and 1st half of '99 have revealed the negative stance of the General Federation of Labor Union toward their interests.

We, in fact, talk within the limits of the government declared policies' general plans. So that we ask Is it possible for these policies to succeed in achieving its targets without considering the above mentioned inquiries and taking them in account?


PROTESTS OF LABORERS

Through the past period, many of the proposed factories for sale witnessed some different patterns of laborers' protests. It began by submitting of complaints, set-ins to hunger strikes and finally ended in executing of general strikes in factories. All the indications resulted from these protests at the time showed that laborers are strongly refusing this process of factories' selling. That is simply because it meant for them the dismissal of their works, vagrancy and denial of the right to get another chance of a private job, especially with the current soaring rates of unemployment in Egypt. It is worth mentioning that the rate of unemployment has tremendously raised from 2,2 during 1960s to 7,7 in 1986. Moreover, in 1995 it had reached to 11,3 of the total number of the country's population. This is happening at the time that the nation working market has to receive annually not less than half a million person looking for a work opportunity.

The country unemployment problem seems to worsen day after another. The recent statistics issued by the ministry of public enterprises indicated that 130,000 laborers discharged since the beginning of the early retirement scheme until the end of last December 1998.

In a new development to vitalize the companies' sale process, ministry of public enterprises has reduced to 45 years the limit set for early pension entitlement. That despite the fact laborer at such age stage gives the maximum production levels.

Within this framework the administrations of proposed companies for sale are practicing many forms of pressure on laborers to force them quit the work. Such practices were represented in transferring laborers to the company's remote branches as it happened with laborers of cotton ginning plants in Zaftta, Banha and Abu Kaber. Other forms of laborer suppression were reducing their payments and concealing their incentives. And that was evident in what happened for the laborers of Iran and Steel Company in Helwan.

In this respect, it worth mentioning that all these attempts are after forcing laborers to see no other way out of their current leaving crises unless by accepting the available early-retirement solution. In other words it means that it is better for him quit the job at the end and look for another safer one.

The irony is that though government to implement its policy devised early retirement, its privatization committee entrusted to do this has totally failed in providing enough funds to pay early-pensioners their compensations. It was evident that most of protests occurred during the last period were at those proposed for sale companies where many dismissal orders were issued to affect some of its laborers who met such violations with wider laborer protests.

To this end, we would like to say that all the laborers' protests, which occurred during the last few months and will be mentioned here, indicates a remarkable development in the labors protesting movement. On one hand most of these protests have occurred in areas that historically not known to have such sort of labors' protesting such as major industrial areas of Halown, Mahal Koubra, Shoubra and Kafr el-Douar. This is on the other hand means the expansion of the movement of labors protesting to cover new areas and involve new sectors of laborers. The involvement of these sectors of laborers was actually attributed to many factors among which was their provocation by the attack against laborers' gains and rights, the absence of the role of syndicates in these protests. There was also the dependence of laborers in their self-styled organizations to attain their aims, the insistence of laborers on meeting their demands and finally the continuation of the protesting movement until their demands are met.

But what sends much more worrying is the apparent strong rivalry feeling against these laborers peaceful collective protests. Such as clearly demonstrated in the rapid moving of the security forces to the site of the protest in huge numbers, which did not correspond to its importance. On arrival the protesters site they besiege it and continuously threaten to invade it. To affirm their control on situation they would sometime demonstrate their powers. That is happening despite the peaceful nature of the laborers' protests, demonstrations and strikes, which never happened to cause any violence or disorder or of the acts that lead to that.

The continuation of the Government's mood of animosity against laborers is doubtlessly proves its insistence on treating them arbitrarily and denying them their right in staging collective strikes or to collectively struggle for other rights. All that happens though Egypt's is one of the signatories to the international conventions guaranteeing such rights.

The previous period that is covered by this report, has witnessed the release of different statements and publishing of many reports by governmental institutions, which all touched this issue. The most important of which was the report compiled by the ministerial committee of privatization that determined the number of companies proposed for sale during the first half of 1999. According to this report these companies are belonging to eight main sectors that topped by :-

Pharmaceutical and chemical industries sector: This sector includes eight companies. Those are El-Nasr of Pesticides in Tlakha, Egyptian Industrial Co, Transportation and Engineering Co, Mohrm Printing house, Egypt Commercial for pharmaceuticals Co and Pharmaceutical Development Co.

Housing, contracting and Hotels sector: This sector includes the companies of El-Nasr for Synthetic Wood, Misr El-Gadida for Housing, El-Mamoura for Housing, Mohktar Ibrahim and el-Abd for contracting, Egypt for Hotels and Thomas Cook.

Cotton, Weaving and Textile Sector: It will include companies of Delta for Cotton Ginning, El-Wide for Cotton Ginning, Misr for Cotton Ginning, Egypt for Cotton Compressing, the Egyptian For Wool, Misr and Sheben el-Koum for weaving and textile and Osco factory in Qalubiya.

Metallurgical and Engineering Industries Sector It will include 11 companies. These are Nile for Auto maintenance, El-Nisr for auto-chock -absorbers manufacturing, Elbaat Co., Delta for Steel, El-Nisr for Steel Pipes, the National for metallurgical industries, Egyptian for Bronzes, Samaf Co. and El Nisr for Auto industries.

Cement and Earthenware sector: It includes six companies. They are Assiut for cement, Eastern Company for tobacco and cigarettes, General for earthenware and Chine,el Nisr for glass and crystal, Delta for Sandy Bricks and Arasem Co.

Agricultural and Food Industries sector: This sector includes nine companies. They are Kafr el-Shakh Mills Co., the Egyptian for Drainage and Irrigation, Ramses Agricultural Co., Hagger el-Sawan Agricultural Co., Alexandria for Cool Storage, the Egyptian Co. for Grapes, BicoMisr, the Egyptian for Starch and Yeast, and the Egyptian company for Starch and Glucose.

Foreign and home trade sector: Four companies in this sector will be sold out or rented. They are Egyptian Products Selling Co. Omar Afendi, Modern Fashions Co. and Hanoi Co.

Maritime Sector: This sector will include four companies. They are the Egyptian Company for ship maintenance, Arab for Loading and Dislodging and Alexandria for Containers Co.

Within this context Laborers' protests are revolving around two main elements: First is standing against the companies liquidation process and the second is so much concerned with their incentives, wages and salaries.

1-Companies Liquidation Process and Eviction of Laborers

In this context, laborers' protesting movement has witnessed more than 30 protest. They were mostly in form of sit-ins to demonstrate through to holding of strikes. All of these protests were after one main demand that the immediate stopping of all acts of laborers eviction and suspending the liquidation of companies, even if arranged in others different way like transferring of laborers from one branch to the other and so on.

Here we will point to some of protest that we managed to document in this respect.

The chairman of the board of management of Jute Company decided to transfer 1,600 laborer from the company's Shoubra branch to the main branch in Belbas, Skarika province --120 km to the east of Cairo. The chairman move came as the company's administration has liquidated Shobra's branch to hand it over to a new investor who bought it recently. In response, the laborers whom their number was 1,600 went on strike for three days as from 24-to-26 December. Their demand was to abolish the transfer decision taken by the management. Therefore, to end their strike the management obliged to postpone this decision.

On January 7, 1999, 2820 laborers in Talkha Electricity Station declared a strike to protest against disappointing in their jobs and lack of insurance on them. This strike continued until that the board chairman approved their demand.

During early January, the laborers of Isis hotel staged a sit-in at the hotel premises for two days. Their protest was to gain their lost dues and rights after they were transferred to the owner company (Pyramids) branch. They have also demanded to be given copies of their contracts that stipulate that they are serving with Isis hotel. However, the General Syndicate of tourism laborers interfered and ended their set-in after it convinced them that the hotel management has promised to meet their demands.

Also Bata Chaos's board of management decided to fire 150 laborers. In response, the affected laborers occupied the company's premises and staged a sit-in for two days. However, they later decided to end their sit-in and seek a court judgement. They have actually filed before laborers' courts to suspend the company's tyrannical decision of their transfer. It worth mentioning that Bata was one of the companies sold under the privatization system.

In the same context, the board chairman of the National (el-Ahliay) Company for metallurgical Industries decided to pension off 300 laborer during January 1999. He also made the same for another 300 laborers during February 1999. This matter prompted other pensioned laborers to protest for the delay in paying them their dues. According to early retirement program, the company has intended to pension several of its laborers every month. That is in aim to have at the end 150 laborer out of 1,200 forming the company overall workforce. The laborers expressed their irritation from the pressures put on them by the company's management to force them accept early retirement.

On protesting against their company's management intention to liquidate it, Sata Company laborers occupied the company's premises for three days as from February 12-to-15, 1999. The laborers don't end their sit-in unless after the management withdraw its liquidation decision.

Also in preparation to sell a number of the company's plants, board chairman of Misr for Cotton Ginning Company decided to close ginning plant of Banah, Qualubiya province, a plant in Abuo Kaber, Sharkia province and that of Zaffita, Gharbia province. For this reason 2472 laborer were transferred to the company's branches in Mansuria, Mahala and Zagazeg districts. All that happens despite the lack of accommodation for them at these areas. It worth noting that the closure decision of the plants was due to the laborers' refusal to accept early retirement program. In this regard, the affected laborers have filed many protesting memos to the minister of the public enterprises complaining from these tyrannical transfer decisions, which badly harmed their interests and that of their families.

In early March 1999, the management of Abuo Zabal for Fertilizers and Chemicals company granted a great number of its laborers open leaves that is seen in defiance with the country's laws. Regrettably, the move was initiated for getting rid of the company laborers, a matter that urged more than 50 laborers to demonstrate at the company premises.

In the same month, an administrative decree issued by the manager of Safaga port has lead to the losing of 150 laborers for their jobs. The decree, that issued by the port manager Let. Sarag Amaar prevented the agents of customs clearance companies from entering the part taxing area for to do their works. In response, the laborers submitted a number of memos to Red Sea province commissioner, Gen. Youssif Afefi, complaining from this decree. All this happens at the time that 50 of them were engaged in a demonstration before the commissioners office urging him to conceal this decree. Despite all that, the port manager adamant to his decision.

Also on the 13th of the same month, the laborers syndicate committee of El-Nasr for Weaving and Textile Company (Shorgagy) succeeded in saving 300 laborers from being dismiss. The dismissal of these laborers decided by the company management under the pretext that it had planed to dismiss all laborers whom their services are less than 20 years. This decision has urged the laborers to demonstrate at the management building. In their protest they have also asked for offering them soft loans in agreement with the Social Development Funds that would be settled later on in installments. The syndicate committee supported their request for to suspend their dismissal.

In another development, the new owner of Ideal Company has decided to get rid of the company's laborers after he owned it as principle investor. The owner's plan was to encourage laborers to accept early retirement alternative against paying those in first grade LE 25,000. Some of the laborers objected other protest to the value of compensation dues and its paying.

In April 2, the administration of Elmaco Company has dismissed 17 temporary laborers who spent seven years in services. The company's dismissal decision outraged the 17 laborers. They later staged a sit-in before the company's manager office seeking their reinstating in service. However, the company refused their demand for reasons mostly related to it's actual difficulties facing and especially after the laborers strike that occurred during early January. Furthermore, a number of the company's security men interfered and promised the protesting laborers to solve their problem very soon.

In El-Nisr company for Export and Import 92 laborer and employee protested against the board chairman decision for transferring them to a new site. The transfer decision that ordered the move of these employees from Talat Harb downtown Cairo to company printing house in Shouba was taken after the building that was occupied by the company has sold. The transferred laborers affirmed that they have not been given any assignment since the arbitrary decision of their transfer was issued on April 11,1999. It seemed that the aim of transfer decree was that to force them accepts early retirement. It is noteworthy mentioning that there were other 700 employees and workers of this company were early pensioned in the same way.

In the Egyptian Company for Contracts (Former Mokhter Ibrahim) a number of laborers filed a memo to the Prime Minister Kamal el-Gansouri seeking his personal interference to settle the issue of their appointment and insurance at the company. The complaints were among many other workers who served with the company for more than seven years in temporary contracts. At the same time about 50 other laborers staged a demonstration at the company head office to force the management appointing them.

At the Delta Covered Drainage project 800 laborers threatened to stage a strike on June 23,1999 to protest against the project's management that insisted in denying the right to be appointed or insured. That happened though many of them have spent more then five years in service. Till now the laborers demands have not yet met that despite the many complaints and memos they have sent to officials concerned.

2- bonuses and wages:

In addressing this subject, we will first review some of the points raised by a report that issued recently by the state-run Manpower Development Institute. This report stated that the rates of poverty have remarkably increased in Egypt, affirming that the present percentage of the poor people - the poorest categories - reached 6,4 of the nation total population.

Moreover, the report identified the most poor people as those whose share of each in food's spending doesn't excess LE 594 per annum. It also put the percentage of medium poor classes at 22,9 and the low-income category at 25 of the nation total population.

In this respect, economic analysts are of the opinion that the implementation of the economic readjustment program is behind the current increase in poverty percentage in the country. To amplify their point of view, they stated that Egypt's poverty percentage prior to the program implementation in 1990/91 was not more than 39. They added that this percentage raised to 46 in 1996 following the program implementation.

Undoubtedly, such rising trends of poverty have badly affected a number of businesses belonging to the nation's different social sectors, especially after the businesses' owners were given a free hand to fire workers whenever they saw it is necessary. In the same vein the state's current investment laws and political reform program are noted to disregard many of the laborers' rights. Under such circumstance the laborers could not find another way to face the attack against their gains but to make use of their right to strike, which affirmed by all international and Arab labor conventions.

It is worthy mentioning that Arab Labor Convention No 3 asserts the right of laborers to strike. The Convention's article No 13 stipulates that laborers have the right to strike to defend their economic and social interests after they would have taken all the necessary legal procedures to achieve these rights. This is in addition to the rule issued by the State Security Higher Court that affirmed the right of the railway workers to strike in accordance with the country constitution and international conventions.

Despite the legitimacy of the right of laborer to stage strikes, security forces often interfere to arrest the protesting laborers or use the force to end their strikes and close their factories.

Here is a summery of the protests event occurred during the past six months:

On December the 28th, the laborers of el-Nisr for Textiles Pigment Company called for strike to protest the delay in paying their incentives, interests and bounce approved for achieving the company's work-plan. Other reasons urged strike was the delay in promotion movement. The strike accompanied by a wave of demonstrations and anti-management shouts that also condemned the company's syndicate committee for its conspiring role with the management. The laborers ended their strike after the security director of the Delta's Gharbia province has firmly assured them that their demands will be met within a period of ten days.

At the end of December 1998, the laborers of Met Ghamer Textile factory called for strike on work. That to protest against the company's supervisor's decisions to abolish their incentives and bonuses. Other reasons for their strikes were intensifying of discipline penalties, rising to ten folds the subscription rate to the firm's bus services (from 50PT to five pounds) and finally for abolishing health care service and the activities of the syndicate committee. The laborers have not ended their strike except after the company's response for their demands. It worthy mentioning that the laborers of this factory have practiced their right to strike during last December for three times and for the same reasons.

At the same time, El-Nisr for Textile Preparing Company's branch has declared on December the 31st , a strike to amend a circular issued affecting the laborers' bonuses and incentives. Moreover, the strike ended following their management positive response for their demands.

Also at El-Gharbia Flourmill the laborers there staged a strike on work and sit-in at the company's premises on 5th of January. During the strike some of the company's laborers held their manager captive and confronted with the security forces that tried to invade the company buildings, but they could not due to the laborers' resistance. This move has prompted the Labor Union chairperson to meet with representatives of laborers and to forward their demands to Primer Minister who in turn has approved them.

On 9th of January, the laborers of the public Transport Authority protested against the Authority decision to stop their working during Fridays. However, a senior official at the Province headquarters interfered promising to solve their problem within 48 hours. Accordingly their laborers ended their strike. It has to be noted that this decision would reduce the amount of incentives and wage that are being paid to these laborers.

Meanwhile, on January 9th 1999, a number of employees of Misr Insurance Company held a sit-in at the company headquarters to protest against the board chairman's decision amending the system of paying their incentives. The company's amendment defied the General Assembly of Insurance Companies' decree that determined the offer of these incentives according to the annual reports of performance of employees' endorsed by the minister of economy. This worth mentioning that the company's employees has accompanied their children with them during this sit-in, which did not end until their demands are accepted.

Also during early January 1999, about 300 laborers at Patro-silicon factory have staged a similar sit-in at their syndicate premises at Gasr el-Suaz Street downtown Cairo. That happened after the factory management decided to suspend the payment of incentives and bonus to its laborers. Here, Laborer trade union has interfered to settle down this problem. It actually managed to end the laborers protest after it took the responsibility of attains their demands within a period of one week.

In El-Shinitty factory in Cairo, the administration of the factory surprisingly decided to cut-off the wages and incentives of 15 female laborers that after it accused them of being absent from work for two days during previous month of December. That took place on January the 9th, 1999. Following that the women laborers staged a strike at the factory and they have also submitted a petition to the Labor Office, which thereafter interfered and mutually settled down their dispute with the factory management. The strikers later ended their move and cashed half of their dues. Moreover, these particular women were being exposed to harsh treatment at the hands of the factory's chiefs for what they caused them of troubles. One of them said that their work supervisor always abuse them with bad names in order to force them quit the work for ever.

At Amaria Textile and Weaving Company in Alexandria some serious accidents took place that after a number of laborers have staged a strike during the period from 11 -to- 16 January 1999. The strike was to protest the company's refusal to cash them their dues of incentives and include other increments in salaries. They were also protesting against the management insist on not to pay them their dues of the Labor Day bonus approved by Council of Ministers. Also on January 17,1999, another 1500 labor at the company's other four ready-made clothes affiliates held a strike in solidarity with laborers of El-America factory. The new development urged the security forces to interfere to bring an end for their strike. However, the police interference has ended in arresting a number of laborers. The new development has also prompted the company management to declare the suspension of work at all the facilities, except for managerial staff. The management decision was valid till 23rd of January 1999.

On another development, one thousand laborers, technicians and engineers have called for a strike at Talkha Electricity Company, one of the Delta Electricity Company affiliates. The company staff called on this strike to protest the Delta Company board chairman's refusal to implement a decree issued to readjust the positions of stumbling employees who were dropped-out of the regular promotions. The decree that issued by the Prime Minister was to affect the current positions of many of Talkha Company's employees who several of them have spent between 14- to-15 years in the same scale.

On 25 January, 1999, the laborers of Metallurgic industries plants at Mohrm Bay, Alexandria called for a three days sit-in demanding the immediate pay of their annual increment that suspended since 1st July 1998. The laborers were also asking for the pay of their dues in bonus approved for meeting the company work plan. Their protest ended only when their demands approved by the company's officials.

Also due to management ill-timed decisions, on thousand laborers belonging to Arab Untied Company Textile and Weaving Company have gathered and protested at the company premises on January 31, 1999. The protest was staged against the company's board chairman decision that denied the laborers their shares in exporting incentives. Other reasons behind their strike was the delay in paying them the 30 of the nature of work allowance and for rising the subscription fee on company's bus service by 50. It worth mentioning that the same board manager who treated tyrannically the laborers has early appoint 43 of the company's former employees as consultants and experts against very high payment. He also denoted LE 15,000 for the Alexandri Sporting Club. In a move to amend the laborers' tense situation at the company, Alexandria commissioner and a number of the interior ministry leadership moved to the company's site and issued a decision ceasing the work at the company.

In the same vein, during early February the employees of the Higher Council for Youth and Sport protested against the Prime Minister's decision reducing their nature of work allowances. The Prime Minister, in an unprecedented move, has ordered the reduction of the nature of work allowance of Youth Sports employees from 10 to 5. This move prompted the employees to stage a strike and sit-ins after working hours at their respective sites of work. They have also staged demonstrations in front of Youth and Sports building in Giza. A matter incited security forces to besiege the strikers within the building until the Giza commissioner interfered and ended their sit-in promising that he would to solve their problem and concel this decree.

At the same time, three thousands laborer of the first and second shift of The Arab for Textile and Weaving company have blocked the company's main gates on February 2,1999. The laborers' move was to declare their strike till the company's management meets their demands.

Also within the series of protests against the ill-fated managerial decisions, laborers of Talakha Company for Tobacco called for a strike in early February 1999. That was to protest against the company's board of management, Mokhtar Hamad's refusal to pay them the monthly incentive of LE 10 that was endorsed by the Council of Ministers for Labor Day. The situation claimed after the general syndicate interfered and agreed with the management on paying them the LE 10 monthly. The agreement between the two parties was documented. Moreover, other several serious events have took place later on. Some 500 laborers of the company's night shift staged a sit-in at their work-places to protest against the board of management's decision to rise subscription fee to the company's bus services by 50 and for its refusal to pay them their incentives that was endorsed by Council of Ministers. The laborers action prod police forces to besiege the company premises. It worthy mentioning that the laborers' during their strike have declared their rejection of the company's decision that abolished the annual and obstructive leaves. They were also angry for not being paid the endorsed 30 of their salaries as nature of work allowance. To bring an end to this tense situation Alexandria commission accompanied by the security chief moved to the company site where they have issued a decision suspending the work at the company for six months until they could probe the laborers demands with the company board chairman.

More similar cases happened at other workplaces, where in Isamilia Ready- made Clothes Company three thousands of laborers have gathered on February 2,1999, to protest against the delay in paying them their backdated incentives and bonus. Worthy mentioning that the company 's management refuse to pay the laborers the social allowance that was endorsed by the Prime Minister at rate of LE10 monthly. Moreover, the laborers' demonstration has ended after the management has promised to pay their dues in full. It worth mentioning that the company's laborers have protested several times for the same reasons during the past three months.

Meanwhile, the laborers of Niaza Company have arranged for a strike on February 2,1999, to protest the delay in paying them their incentives and bonus. What is strange is that the as the company's officials informed about the laborers' move all have fled the site fearing that nearby factories' workers may join hands with Neizia strikers. However, following that company management declared all laborers in annual leaves.

Also five laborers at Elabbasia-based Lead Refining Factory declared their sit-in for five days in front of the factory manager office to protesting against his decision that cut 50 of their payments. The manager alleged that they were absent for two days during the previous month of December. Moreover, the laborers ended their sit-in after the manager agreed to pay them their unpaid salaries.

At El-Winsh for Food industries Company in Imbaba, Giza, the company owner refused to pay six female workers their wages on February 15,1999. The company owner's move infuriated the leads that consequently staged a sit-in at the factory that located at Tanish road, Giza province west of Cairo. However, as the protesting female laborers threatened to complain for Labor Office and make a report at the police, the owner bowed for their demands though he in turn threatened to implicate them in legal troubles in the future.

In Kafr-el-Dour Spinning Company, about 20,000 laborer staged a demonstration on April 5, 1999. That was to protest against the company decision to continue deducting the cooperative society installment even from the payment of Eid's salaries-- (Muslim Feast). A state of anger spread among the workers due the wrong policies adopted by the board chairman. Police forces were at the time in alert to avoid the mushrooming of protests to other parts of the town. At the time other 7,000 laborers gathered in front of the company's cooperative society and syndicate committee buildings. But the police were besieging them. Moreover upon directives from a security personality that warned against the seriousness of the situation and the necessity of ending their laborers crisis, the company's security director ordered the company's gates to be opened. The laborers later distributed leaflets carrying statement accusing the company's board chairman of terrorizing, dismissing and denying them their guaranteed rights and above all his bad intention to destroy their lives a havoc. The laborers' statement also described the board chairman as ignorant, as he doesn't known where the company actual location and even its nature of work or its production and distribution line. It has also affirmed that the man is not friendly deal with the laborers and their leadership. The statement also pointed to the escape of a considerable number of company's clients, especially those exporting its products, due to the board chairman's oral decisions, which he always retreat in them. Other accusations stated that he insist not to issue written orders, transferring of the company's leaderships who opposed his deeds, especially those of sales and exporting department who are known of their high performance, which was behind the company many achievement attained over the past years. In addition to that the statement accused the company's chairman of adopting the divide and rule policy that overwhelmed the company's setups and caused many disputes among the leaderships. It worthy mentioning that the company's board chairman was constantly affirming to have good relations with the country bosses who always support every decision he makes. That was also one of the reasons outraged the laborers and led them to stand against him. The laborers have also pointed to the absolute authority that the manager enjoyed and always used it against whoever object to his way of work. They added that he used to threaten to expel these opponents from work or deprive them of incentives and other offers which he is only one to own. For that power he usually iterates in every accession that 'He who does not like it can complain to the minister", As we said before that the company's decision to deduct the cooperative contribution installment from El-Eid payment was the main reason for all that troubles. Laborer leaderships also maintained that as they said that the company used to take such action every year as present for its laborers in this occasion. But what i happened exactly was a rumor that said that the company's controller of finance has made already the deductions and instructed whoever wants to reimbursed it to contact the cooperative management and syndicate committee. This rumor that meant to cause a rift between the syndicate committee chairman and the cooperative manager has led to a huge demonstration of 7,000 laborer. This protest of anger has ascended after the laborer number reached 20,000 and started chanting anti-slogans against the board chairman.

At this time, some of the laborers' leadership at Kafr el-Dour tried to take the company's board chairman as hostage at one of the factory wards till the deducted monthly salary is paid. Other number of laborers has filed a memo to Minister of Public Enterprise, Dr. Attif Obaid. The laborers in their memo asked the Minister to take the necessary steps to stop the wrong and tyrannical policies of the company's board chairman. They added that he is no longer legible to lead them since he was above the pension age. They have also cited his strained relations with laborers and their leaderships. Ending their memo they stressed the sensitivity of the situation urging that the prevailing of anger state that overwhelmed the company is threatening the future of one of the nation strategic industries. They have also added that this situation would damage the reputation of many officials whom the chairman alleging to supporting his shameful deeds.

During late February 1999, 800 laborers belonging to El-Azab Drinking water project in Fayyum province south of Cairo, staged a strike due to the delay in paying them their overtime dues of the past six months. The strike only ended when the management of the project promised to meet the strikers' demands.

On the 2nd of March, a number of female workers in Helwan based- El-Nil Company for Ready Made clothes demonstrated against reducing their payment and all sorts of ill-treatment they met at the hands of the company's officials. Moreover, as force of the police besieged the company buildings, the area police superintendent interfered in the issue promising the demonstrators to solve their dispute with the company. But to add yeast to brew, the company management decided to fire 100 in a revenge of the female workers move against the strikers, who were seeking their rights in the first place.

In the same context, the laborers at General Motors Company in the 6th of October City west of Cairo called for strike to protest against their company's circular that reduced the value of their annual increment of pay. The strikers were also after increasing the rate of this increment of pay by 7 annually as from last December.

At Coca Cola company in Al- Manyia province south of Cairo, the laborers there called for a strike to force the administration of the company pay them their dues of the over-time for past months of January and February 1999. To avoid the laborers' strike, the manager has accepted to pay them their dues.

In an unprecedented move, the employees of Assets taxation Department of the Ministry of Finance demonstrated in front of the People's Assembly on 14th of March. The reasons behind their demonstration were for to be equally treated like their colleagues at General Taxation Department of the ministry in terms of privileges and wages. However, the police forces rounded them as they were chanting anti- ministry slogans and seeking their demands to be fulfilled. The situation tensed as a number of them have tried to enter the Assembly building to meet the Speaker and a number of the nation's deputies who supposed to welcome them. Regrettably the assembly guard have prevented them and later forced them to disperse.

During late February 1999, some laborers at Mit Ghamer Spinning Company staged a strike for the second time in this year. Their protest this time was against the delay in paying them the nature of work allowance dues. There were also other reasons for their protest like the decision that to abolish the reductions introduced to the medical care services costs and for to stop the tyrannical sort of penalties imposed against the company's disciplined workers.

On another development, about 130 laborers of the Spanish Asbestos Company gathered in front of the company's premises in the 10th of Ramadan City. This took place on May 5, 1999. The demonstrators were after their dues of incentives, shares in the company's profits and for receiving their delayed overtimes.

Also on 25th of May about 1300 laborers of the German-Egyptian for Electrical Transformers Company staged a strike to protest against the decision taken by the company's administration depriving them from the social allowance. They were also protesting against the lack of sound regulations for offering their promotions and increment of pay. As the demonstrators were pressing hard to receive a response for their demands, police forces besieged the company's headquarters at el-Ameeria district north of Cairo. This move urged the management to declare all the laborers are in a compulsory leave for four days. Meanwhile, the laborers syndicate committee has tried to mutually settle the problem with the company board of management, but to no avail as the board strongly refused to negotiate with them. Furthermore, in a move to force laborers end their occupation of the company premises, the police forces cut the water and electricity supply to the buildings. This act prompted the area's natives to sympathize with the strikers and provided them with their needs of water and food. The laborers were also more cautious to avoid the happening of any destructive act to the company's facilities by any intruder. So that they have assigned a number of them the duty of guarding the company's buildings at night. The strange is that the company management has only started to negotiate with the laborer when they have declared to toughen their strike measures and to go on a hunger strike. Only at this point the board of management agreed to put an end to the laborers ordeal by meeting all of their demands.

On the other hand, a report issued by the national authority for social insurance affirmed that there are not less than 1720 private firms evading the pay of insurance on laborers. The report also added that 51,5 of this sector work force are subscribing to insurance with salaries less than LE 40 a month. Other 13,3 of them have subscription to insurance with salaries less than LE 50 a month, the report said. The report clarify that there are some of the firms owners of the habit that to verify for their laborers form No 6 - ending their services--at the same time of their appointment. In this way, the report said, it would be easy for the work master to fire any laborer at any time. This way also helps the work master afterward sand form No6 to Labor Office informing absent of the laborer from work. It would help him also not to pay his share in insurance subscription for this laborer. For this reason laborers have staged many of protests for to be appointee at their workplaces and hence enjoy all the privileges of social and health insurance.

Also on May 24, 1999, 150 laborers of the Egyptian for pharmaceuticals Trading Company, department of hospital and provinces supply, held a sit-in at the company premises. That was to protest against the management's denial of their right in 5 commission endorsed in case they managed to collect LE 40 million of the company debts. Moreover, the management in a move to lessen their tense suggested that it would include this percentage at the end of the financial year. But the company staff rejected the suggestion.

Also on May 25th, 1999, the employees of El-Salaam International Hospital protested against the reductions made to their over-time dues. However, the protest ended in damaging of three cars and the hospital administration called on public prosecutor to investigate the events.

In Helwan, a large number of the Iron and Steel company's employees and workers have demonstrated against the company's board chairman decision to dismiss 5,000 laborers out of the company work force of 20,000. The company's General Assembly also opposed this decision. In response the company's board chairman decided to reduce the laborers incentives from 15 to 5 and not to provide them with the necessary protective clothes for work. He also ordered the medical care unit not to offer enough quantities of medications for the sick laborers regardless their cases' seriousness.

Finally at the Egyptian Grapes (El-Korum) Company, the board chairman decided to dismiss 532 laborer in a tyrannical way. When these laborers tried to enter the company the following day, the security personnel, who were densely existing at the gates, prevented them. It worth mentioning that the security measures at this company have toughened following the violent events took place there during September, 1,1998 in which 48 laborers were arrested for 45 days. Moreover, the case of these laborers is still before courts and not yet heard.


PROTESTS OF OTHER LABORERS SECTORS

The first half of year 1999 has witnessed the extension of the laborers' protesting movement to others sectors and segments that were not known to be active to the nation laborers struggle. These sectors included aircraft pilots, tax inspectors, teachers and some of the banking system employees. Reasons for such laborers' sectors to remain silent all this time were many. But the most obvious was due to the fact that the members of these sectors were previously enjoying reasonable and stable working conditions. That is beside the other material privileges they had in work such as their distinguished social status and gradual promotions in their posts. But the most important is that the trade union movement at these sectors' was in fact totally inactive.

However, with the government's introduction of the new economic readjustment polices over the past few years, most of these sectors members started to experience much more troubles than before. These policies it is known have abolished the subsidization of goods prices and raised the costs of other services. For all these reasons the troubles of these sectors were clearly evident in dwindling of their real incomes, their instability in workplaces and narrowing of their chances to socially progress. Moreover, the most important consequences these sector suffered from were at the hands of their superiors. The government departments and administration started to violate the gains and rights of these sectors' members. This negative change prompted these sectors of laborers to protest against such violations.

Here, is a summary for protesting events took place during the past six months.

During January 1999, a decree was issued by the management of Misr for Insurance Company amending the incentives and bonus of laborers. The decree viewed by all laborers to contradict the decision taken by the insurance companies' General Assembly in this respect. When the police forces interfered to end the laborers strike, they have besieged the company building, but the laborers prevented them from entering inside it as the they have locked the gates. At this time the company's chairman was at Saudi Arabia performing a lesser pilgrimage/. For this reason the minister of Economy, Dr, Galai, has interfered directing the company's deputy chairman to immediately answer the laborers demands and pay them the due according to previous years system. Later the laborers ended their strike after they have cashed their dues.

On the 8th of January 1999, about 1,040 teachers belonging to the Delta province of Mounfia Educational department have declared that they would boycott the final exams and to stage a strike. The move came after the Shaben el-Koum's Central Auditory authority issued the decree No 231 dated December 13, 1995. The decree was to readjusting the positions of the post-secondary school certificates holders, especially the holder of educational diploma or those of the commercial polytechnic diploma holders. According to this decree, large sums from the teachers salaries would to be deducted as from the day of their appointment. For that reason large number of teachers protested in front of the province's educational headquarters.

Four laborer at Imbaba's Labor City gas store staged a sit-in at the store building on January 13, 1999. Their protest was against the store's manager refusal to give them the cylinder at a price that higher by two pounds than the ordinary one. It worthy mentioning that the same manager has used to offer street's venders the cylinder at a price of four pounds. But it happened that in this very day he decided to rise the gas-cylinder price to five pounds. This action enraged the store official laborers, till one of them threatened to sit himself ablaze if the manager does not retract on his decision. Actually their request were met at the end as the store's manager approved for them to sell the cylinders at four pouds.

During early February, the drivers of Beshteel- Giza micro-bus service have decided to go on strike for two days, All that happens as the police officer in charge of El-Moneria West district in Giza has commended the car of one of them. The officer forced this driver to work with throughout the day. When this driver objected to the behavior of the office he has been beaten at the police station. The officer seemed not sufficed by what he did for him at the police station the other day, he beat and abused him again and threatens to arrest him and his family. All that happened in front of his colleagues at the station. This wrong deed infuriated the natives of the area who asked the drivers to be eyewitnesses whenever they requested to testify against the officer.

It happened also that during February 100 teachers in Mattaria, east of Cairo, has called for a sit-in at the teachers trade union building. That was to protest against the director of education's decision demoting a number of the secondary education teachers and transferring them to preparatory stage. It also at the same time that two thousand teachers have singed a memo withdrawing the confidence from the member of the teachers' trade union council for being unable to set a date for the trade union elections. Moreover in a new development, the state security arrested six of El-Tagamh party for holding a seminar on the unified labor law. The seminar held at Friday, March 3, 1999. However, the state security investigation department later released three of them on Saturday, March 3,1999, while the other three persons namely Mohammed Hassan Ouf, Yaha Fakari and Wael Towfeq were referred to state security prosecutor on March 14, 1999. The three were accused of organizing provocative propaganda campaign, and instigating the laborers and employees to stage strikes. Despite that the prosecutor ordered their release in cash bail of 500 pounds each.

Seven teachers of Moustafa Kamal primary school at El-Qariq district of Giza, west of Cairo, staged a sit-in at their school premises to protest against the school master unfair change of the school activity time-table. The master's move has put more burdens on some teachers while lifting it from others, especially those of support of his policy. The affected teachers have nothing to do but to threaten a strike if he (the master) does not correct this wrong situation. At the end the master bowed for their demands and changed the time-table.

On Saturday March 14, 1999, security authorities in Mahala Koubra arrested the syndicate figure Fathi Abdul Aziz Abdul Maqsoud, but they later released him. Abdul Maqsoud was accused by the security of publishing an unauthorized anti-government circular, which later appeared to be issued by the opposition Labor Party.

On another development, Land Center for Human Rights received on February 25, 1999, a complaint from five female workers accusing their work master, Al-Sayed Al-Sayed Abdul Wahab, of not paying them their weekly wages regularly and harshly treating them. The owner of the farm, which also called 'the land of the green revolution', defending his move said that one of these worker has attended the work one hour late. The farm colleagues of the dismissed workers showed sympathy for their miserable conditions. A matter that angered the farm owner and prods him to dismiss all of them.

But for being dismissed, the female workers have complained to the district's Labor Office one week from the date of their dismissal, Land Center took the initiative and filed a lawsuit against the him before a Giza court. In its suit, Land Center asked the court to order paying of compensations for these workers against the damages inflicted upon them as result of the defendant's wrong deeds.

It worth mentioning that Land Center has received last year a similar complaint from 40 female workers at the same area. The compliant were accusing their farm owner of reducing their daily payment to three pounds per a day. Moreover, it appeared later that the main reason behind the pay reduction was due to a complaint that submitted against the owner at Labor Office by one of them. As the workers found no way to convince the owner restore their payment, they all staged a strike at the farm for five hours, a matter that later cost them their jobs for ever.

In this regard, we would to say that Land Center's lawyers have visited this area for several times. Based on their visits' outcome they affirmed the deterioration of the area's laborers conditions, which they said to defy all legal principles stipulated in Egypt's Labor Law and what endorsed by the world's human rights conventions. In their description of this sorts of the violations committed against laborers, they asserted that those violations are to commence by reducing wages of the laborers. Preventing them from enjoying any sort of leave or vacation would follow it they would later force them work during the official holidays. The researchers also noted that woman workers are overworked there as they force them to work for more than eight hours a day. Concluding this notes the lawyers affirmed that all aforementioned savage acts have nothing to do with what mentioned in the country's Labor Law.

As a matter of fact, this area exemplifies as the most worse to demonstrate the deterioration of the female workers conditions in the agricultural sector. The same area was the stage for a trouble accident few months ago in which 13 persons have lost their lives nine of them were female workers.

Undoubtedly, the area's laborers dilapidated conditions urge the need for having a long term plan for improving their current situations. In doing so, the envisaged plan must consider all the related aspects of the problem and not to cater for the legal aspects of it. It must take in consideration the area's economic, social, educational and health aspects. All that would consider, besides giving a special attention to individuals of the area who mostly hit by the problem. The proposed plan should also give a space of freedom for the natives of the area to form their own organization at both the village and district levels. In such way they would be able to direct and contribute to the steps devised to improve their work conditions. Other popular establishments have a role to play in this respect. They could influence and activate the duties of the Labor Offices, Insurance departments, and other governmental institutions in the area.

Another important fact is that, the existence of such categories of laborers under these dilapidated living conditions would undoubtedly increase the levels of illiteracy in society. And in this way we would end having a technically inexperienced manpower.

Therefore, we emphases the need for directing the activities of vocational training centers and illiteracy eradication programs to these particular categories of laborers. The civil society organizations, which have many successful programs such handicrafts work, needle works and wood works , have a vital role to play in this context . We therefore call in them to give a hand to solve the ordeal of these people of this area.

Finally, the Center call on the members of the People's Assembly to amend the articles of the proposed new Labor law to avoid make segregation between this category of farm laborers and their peers at other work sectors.

During the period from 13 to 15 of March 1999, the drivers of the microbus serving in transportation lines of Qaloubia province, north of Cairo, staged a strike to protest the local authorities' decision forcing every driver pay LE10 daily as services fee. It seems that the decision-maker has based his decision on the assumption that every driver could make 10 travels a day. In other words it means that each driver of them has to pay the province LE 300 monthly as fee against his work in its transportation lines. However, the driver after they have received no reply on the complaints they sent to the province commissioner and security chief, have decided to staged their strike.

Also during lasts April, the employees of the Taxation Department threatened to stage a strike. They were protesting against the department's officials' malpractice that remarkably affected the laborers' incentive dues. The administration other wrongdoing was accountable for losing many of the laborers' rights. Most of these laborers were deprived from the rights to promotion. They were also exposed to unjustifiable cut-in payments to enable the administration purchase gifts for its pensioners. All that came after the head of department has made deductions of each laborer payment for buying gifts.

In Cairo a state of panic and irritation overwhelmed the microbus drivers in the town as they have been ordered by Cairo governor to modify their vehicles to work by natural gas instead of petrol. This issue meant that they should pay extra expenses which most of them cannot afford. In response, the drivers filed a number of lawsuits before the courts to abolish the governor decision. All that happens at the time the governor declared his insistence not to retreat on his decision. The governor reaction led to ascending of the irritation among the drivers.

During last March, a number of female employees belong to the Delta province of Gharbia, public hygiene department, demonstrated in front of the province headquarters to protest against the department's decision dismissing them from the work. The decision was taken after they have refused to quit their administrative work assignments and to be engaged in streets sweeping activities. The female employees based their refusal on the fact that they all either higher or intermediate diploma holders.

The problem actually started when the department decided to appoint 27 male youth to work as street sweepers. Regrettably, due to wrongdoing committed by some officials 27 female were appointed instead. This situation remained like that until the would-be new male employees received the unhappy news about their dreams. Wasting no time they have filed the province senior officials who in order to correct the wrong situation decided to dismiss the 27 already appointed female workers.

Also during early May, more than 30 fishermen have gathered in front of the General Authority for Fisheries Development in Adco town of the Delta province of Beharia. These fishermen were trying to stop the violations being staged at the lack sources, which constitute their only source of income. In so doing they staged a sit-in at the authority's building until the State Security Investigation department interfered and asked them to select a delegation from them to negotiate the matter with the authority administration. However, as the negotiation wasgoing on, the authority chairman threatened the head of the delegation, Mohamed Abu Qfas, that if the fishermen repeated the protest they would be sent to prison and isolated. In response, the chairman of the Fishers society accused the authority of destroying the lake and conspiring with the area's elite to dry-up the lack for their interests. To support these claims the fishermen headman stated that the lack has dramatically reduced in area from 47,000 acre in 1998 to only 5,000 acre now.

It worthy mentioning that El-Ahaly local newspaper has published an article on May 12,1999 addressing this subject. The paper has later received a reply from the authority that outlined the following points:

- Following probing of the issue, the head of the cooperative society of Adeco lake's fishers informed us that what these fishers gained during President Mubarak era was more than they wished. He added that measures would be taken to prevent these rumormongers practice their wrong deeds.

- The reply pointed nothing about the damages suffered by the poor fishers due to control of the lake sources by elite fish farms owners.

Meanwhile, more than 300 boat owners operating at Cairo's el-Andalos public garden have demonstrated on May 12, 1999 to protest against moving of their boats anchoring area near the garden to another site. The removal of the anchorage came upon orders from the Cairo governor and irrigation ministry officials to implement what they called Cairo Beautification Civilized Project. The boat owners later filed a complaint to the president of the republic. It worthy mentioning that these people were practicing their work at this area for almost 30 years.

The protests' movement this time included new sector of workers who were not expected before to takes such action. In this context came the strike by EgyptAir employees that started on January 2, 1999 and continued for almost a month. This strike initiated by the pilots' slow-down in executing extra flight-hours that exceeding the limit internationally approved for them. Other started to take their postponed leaves. And in the same time, Pilots' Association Chairman, Hany Beshi concluded the demands of the pilots in the following points:

1- The value of insurance on pilots in case of accidents (death) should be increased. According to current system the family of deceased get only LE 50,000 and the company has to get LE 25,000.

2- Member of the flying crow (pilots, engineers, maintenance staff) should be allowed to subscribe to the brotherhood fund of the company.

3- Pilots must get the end-of-service allowance that offered for all company's employees except pilots. Pilots must get overtime pay against their work during official holidays especially seasonal holidays and festivals.

Moreover, the company's chairman, Mohammed Fahem Rayin was on justifying the delay in flights he attributed to weather bad conditions and pressure in flight schedule.

On January 19,1999, the company's chairman, Mohammed Fahem Rayin, obliged to hold a meeting with the pilots' association during which he asked them to give him a period of three months to answer their demands. But, the association chairman refused the request affirming that the attainment of these demands need no more than few hours. Wondering, the association chairman asked about LE 12 million spent on sportsmen who are only temporarily appointed at the company.

Surprisingly, On January 21, another 90 pilots threatened to submit their collective resignation if the pilots' demands are not met. In the same day, workers of the Maintenance and Arial Navigation departments joined the protest of pilots.

Also, on 23 January, in protest against the company's adamant refusal to meet pilots' demands six pilots submitted a collective resignation from the company. That coincided with resigning of another 27 pilots for the same reasons.

On 24th January another 170 co-pilots in contracts decided to sue the company for its refusal to appoint them though they have spent more than two years in work.

The company chairman after the failure in negotiating with the pilots' association, sent a fax to Arab countries seeking to assist in finding a way for the company's bottleneck. The message sent to Sudan, Syria, Kuwait, Bahrain, Tunisia and Morocco pilots' associations. But all refused to help alleging that International Civil Pilots Union's regulations barring pilots from participating or accepting work in detachment in or with companies that experience whatever sort of disputes over working conditions between the staff and management of this particular company.

Finally, chief Rayon, as he failed to reach a compromise with the pilots' Association, decided to rise the whole issue to the Prime Minister who immediately accepted the pilots' demands in order the company's can resume its work in an ordinary way..

For the second times laborers at Hilton Remises Hotel be tortured and detained. It worthy mentioning that in December 1998 four laborers who were detained at the 29th floor have tried to escape their prison in a dramatically way that might have cost them their lives. All that happened after they have been tortured for almost a month at the hands of the guard of one of an Arab prince. The boys to make it out of the room in which they detained have tied a number of bed sheets to a room window and started to descend until they reached the 24th floor of the hotel building , but unfortunately they failed on ground sustaining very serious injuries.

This year the same scenario has been repeated whereas a number of the laborers were detained in the suit of the same prince (Amer). This time the detained laborers thrown empty plastic flasks from the room windows. Their message was urging people outside the hotel to save them. The passers-by and the hotel cleaning laborers picked the message-in-flasks and handed them to hotel's security personnel who in turn reported the matter to tourism police. Regrettably, though the police came aware about this fact they did not move to free the hostages. More surprisingly is that, the story of laborers torturing at the prince hotel suit is still continuing, no one-has taken serious action to stop it.


LABORERS PROTEST FOR HOUSING

With changing of the government economic policy toward the privatization, the problem of housing units belonging the proposed companies for sale started to appear on the surface. One of the policy adverse consequences in this respect is the dominance of possession trend in offering housing units of industrial areas instead of hiring them. Taking chance of the prevailing condition, a number of state-owned companies involved in building houses for to be possessed by others. For instance, a company like Steel and Iron of Hellion has built a number of units that its price ranged between LE 3,000 - to- 4,000, that would be paid installments each of about LE 90 monthly. Similar act did by El-Nisr for automobiles. The Company engaged in offering its present housing units in possession basis and in advance in pay that was not less than LE 5,000 payable installment of LE 85 monthly. Other companies thought to make use of its house unit rented to its laborers like Helwan Portland Cement Company. This company used to end the rental relation with its laborer whether in case in death or pension. It would later offer in rent the empty units at higher price. Moreover, laborers of other companies have enabled to possess the houses they actually rented. That likes what happened in Seigoritt Company and Cairo for Dyeing and Preparation Company. Some of these companies' laborers have settled a part of the units' price installment.

From the many complaints we received, it has affirmed that there is a real and serious laborers' housing problem in different parts of the country. This problem must be solved by any means without the families of the affected laborers being made homeless.

On our part we would try here to demonstrate some aspects related to these problem. Our aim is that through this concise explanation we may trace the real reasons behind it and eventually assembling the means for settling the problem peacefully and harmlessly.

The most serious side can be traced in the following instances:

Asco Company: In the early 1980s a court ruled for the Asco Company to expel the families of pensioned laborers from its houses. However, due to the families' refusal to quit their houses, the company management couldn't execute the rule at the time. These families also faced the security forces were sent to execute this court rule. After that, Shoubra City council sent a letter to the company board chairman in whom the council referred to the letters received from Deputy Prime Minister for services and Minister of Local Government. The two letters were affirming the rights of laborers to remain occupying their houses even after they pensioned, died, resigned, transfered or dismissed. This came in accordance with the recommendations issued by the Higher Committee for Policies and Economic Affairs. The council on light of the ministerial directives held a meeting to discuss the issue of expelling the company laborers from their houses or of those would be affected in the future. The council at the end of this meeting sent the company the aforementioned letter. Following receiving the council's letter the company board of management held a meeting at the end of which they sent a circular to the council. In its circular the company allegedly declared the unavailability of any directives stopping the eviction except for those who were normally pensioned. And that according to the Minister of industry letter issued on September 10,1975. The company letter went to say that directive came in minister of industry letter are not applicable to those dismissed on medical grounds or early pension program.

Though the company has remained quite for sometimes, but it later resumed its attempts to evict the laborers once more. For instance, on September 1997 a group of security personnel accompanied by representatives from the company approached the laborers residential area to put in action a court rule evicting the inhabitants of two building units. Actually they have managed to do it after they threatened and abused the dwellers at a police station. Also on September 16, 1997, a force of security went to the same area to evict the inhabitants of another two units. This time the natives resisted the security force and they have later gathered and staged a huge demonstration against the company deeds. For that reason the security force has retreated.

To calm the situation at its area, Shobra city council sent a letter-dated 13/5/199, to all factories administrations at its domicile, warning them from taking a step regarding the house units before referring to it. The council augmented its role states that Shobra el-Khaima council's for service is the only office that has the right to decide on the issue of these houses.

Add insult to injuries, the minister of public enterprise issued a circular on 14/9/1998, recommending the selling of the housing unit to its occupants as long as these located out of these factories premises zone. The minister sent a letter on the circular subject to the Qalubia governor to take in his consideration the economic, security and social circumstances prevailing at this area. The new situation bewildered the laborers as the ministry of public enterprise want to possess the houses for laborers, while the area council see itself the only authority to decide that. Amid this tense situation it has come to the laborer families' attention during last May that the company intends to issue a final order expelling a number of the families from their houses. This matter urged more than 50 families to demonstrate against the company plan so as to prevent the expulsion of the families. At this time land Center called upon the Minister of public enterprise to intervene to prevent the expulsion of any family from its house.

At the same time, other complaints received from 600 laborers and their families of the Glass and Crystal Company in Shobra el-Khama. The laborers and their families are facing the threat of being expelled from the company's houses in Mostoroud, after the management has issued a decision to that end. The companies took this action in accordance with a law of the eviction of administrative housing following pensioning of the laborer. The same fate is awaiting tens of thousands of laborer families inhabiting laborers housing units in Shobra el-Khaima. To express their agony more than 100 laborers and their families gathered in front of the housing administration building at the area. That to protest against this decision, however, the director calmed them and assured them that no family would be expelled from its home.

On the other hand, the chairman of the holding company for mining and metallurgical industries ordered the would-be pensioners settle all the dues owed by company before they would be released from their houses. According the affiliated company asked its laborers to either evacuate the houses or pay its prices according to the current market prices. The irony is that the majority of the laborers occupied houses 30 years ago.

As it seems the problems of this company are not confined to housing only, problems of the laborers who accepted early retirement are also This problem has emerged since the company has indulged on preparations for privatizing its affiliated installations. At the time rumors have spread here and there about the approach of the time set for selling the company's facilities . Since than, it has noticed that the officials at the company have became so rude to laborers. They were of habit of enforcing harsh and tyrannical orders against laborers. They for instance were imposing random and exaggerated penalties on laborers to force them apply for early retirement program.

According to the company's statement the total number of laborers suppose to be pensioned was 1590 laborer only. But the company management has skillfully applied the early retirement system on its laborers. Hence, it forced 2,640 laborer -- out of 3,100 the company's overall workforce-- to apply for retirement according to this system. In so doing the company carried out this work in stages. In the first stage it pensioned 600 laborers, but stopped paying them their dues until the problem of housing with them would be settled.

One of the laborers says: " I have served this company for 30 years, but as the government directed to the privatization system they started to warn me from the unknown,"

I therefore applied for early retirement, he said. The company of course accepted my application without delaying, he added. " But, for the early retirement means that family to be expelled from their home and it would usurped from me, this can not be acceptable by anyone," the man said.

Another laborer explaining his tragic situation says" I'm working for this company for almost 20 and have a family of six persons," He added. That though my pay was very limited, but for the fear to be expelled if the company being sold, I applied for early retirement like the rest of my colleagues.

But, regrettably, we surprised by the decision expelling us from our houses, which actually build from the laborers' share of 15 in the company profits plus other money collected from the penalties fund, the man said.

Land center researchers who visited these areas of laborers noted that there are enormous pressures being put on these laborers to force them accept early retirement system. The researchers have also understood that many of laborers have accepted the early retirement system as the only option at hands amid this bleak future at moment. They were also being afraid of becoming easy prey for unemployment and expulsion if the companies were sold without getting their due compensations. But they all surprised later on by the tragic of the expulsion from their houses, in which they lived for tens of years. Even the humble pensions they monthly earn could not enable them have a new house or buy apartment for being their costs are very high. On the other hand, there are many complaints from different factories' laborers affirm the disregard of their families' conditions or consider the human dimensions arise from the decision they took. The complaints also affirmed that the continuation in these polices would led to banishment of many families.

In Nasr Company for Automobiles, the company management tries to expel a number of its laborers from their houses considering that their rent contracts with it are all temporary. But, early this year, this move failed as the company obliged to abolish its decision after it exposed for laborers' protest that pressured to do that. Moreover, the company again tried the trick of possession. It therefore started offering the laborers its housing units against LE 3,000 each.

In 36 Military plant, the factory management tried to evict a number of its laborers from their houses. When the laborers refused, the factory decided to possess them the units. It therefore necessitates the payment of LE 1,500 as advance in pay for those in pension and the rest would be installment. Some other companies tried to file lawsuits against its pensioned laborers to expel them from the houses. For instance, the lawsuit of Wooltex Company that filed to retain its houses from the laborers who ended their services with the company. Another example is that of The Steel and Iron Company. The company has filed against its pensioned laborers who occupying about 50 of the houses belong to the company. But the irony is that all the cases filed by these companies before courts were dismissed.

On another development, on February 4, 1999, Beni Suif province witnessed a huge demonstration that staged by the town inhabitants to protest against the governor decision to remove el Mahtta (Railway station) square and the nearby residential area. As a matter of fact, the province former governor took this decision in early 186. But the effected people (180 persons) at the time appealed against his decision before a court and the court ruled for them. Moreover, the province again appealed against the court rule, but finally the court seconded the first rule for the favor of residents thought it still being shelved.

Finally, the Prime Minister ordered the removal of this square and all annexed buildings to it and offering their owner's alternative houses and shops. Regrettably, for the majority of the owners the new site of houses and shops was unsuitable. The site according to these people is neighboring a graveyard area at the end of the town that located at the east bank of the Nile. For this reason it can not be suitable for the accommodation of the people.

On February 24, 1999, one of el-Mahal El-Koubra residents declared a hunger strike for being expelled from his apartment upon orders from the public attorney. All what happens is that this citizen, namely Hassan Emababi, has one day surprised by a decision from the public attorney ordering him hand over the apartment he dwell with his family. Emababi has affirmed that he bought from this apartment from the area local council and according to official documents in name of a certain female citizen. He added that this woman was involved is a legal dispute with him over the same apartment. And for this reason he decided to strike on food until he fail sick to prove his possession of this house.

Also on 15 of the same month, el-Shaheed area of el-Senbaluiwan, Dekahila province has witnessed protest and melancholy as the National Authority for Drinking Water has assigned the establishment of the sewerage project at the area to a contractor. As the contractor doing his work, he installed water pumps at depth of 45 meters to draw the underground water beneath these buildings. Unfortunately, this act has affected many of these buildings' foundations and raised the possibility of their collapse. Therefore, the natives filed many complaints to the officials concerned, but to no avail.

On January 22,1999 in Kfer el-Douar, Delta province of Beharia, the inhabitants of 84 housing units there decided to sit-in at the City Council premises to protest the dilapidated condition of their building units. It is know that most of the inhabitants of these houses are workers of the many factories at the area, while the rest are free professions' owner. The story of these buildings could find a solution for more than a year as the council and the province officials have used to tackle to each other. Moreover the main reason behind the continuation of this problem is attribute to the fact that these building were built on a salty land that dried up for contracting them, By passing of time the salt started reacting with foundations. In addition to that there is no sewage system in this buildings, the matter led to increasing of the underground water levels that penetrated the foundations and caused many cracks in the buildings.

When the natives asked the town council officials assistance they refrained from the responsibility and referred them to the province. But the irony is that each side started accuse the other while the building are collapsing.

Also on January 25 1999, as the Local Council of the Mediterranean resort of Beltem carries out the city sewage project, they have caused many destructive defaults that affected many houses and building. It also threatened the lives of thousands of people in the city. Many of the city's building started to show cracks in its walls even some them are near collapse. All that urged the city natives sent many complaints to the officials concerned asking them to taken necessary action against those responsible for exposing their lives for dangers.


RECOMMENDATION

As we have demonstrated in brief the current situations that Egyptian laborers experienced during the past six months of 1999, we have sought t recall some of the recommendations came in previous year report on labor. Simply because many of these recommendations are not different from the one we will state herein. But the most important is that these recommendations are still reflecting the main demands of Egypt's laborers. It was our hope that if such recommendations were considered by the government, it would have provided the country's laborers with their minimal levels of human rights.

Therefore, we call upon all nation's civil work institutions, which include human rights groups, civil societies, political parties and all other professional and syndicates, to constructively react with this report's recommendations. Our aim is to formulate a number of demands that represent the minimal demands of Egypt's laborers. Therefore, to attain this target we would, in a democratically way, practice much more pressure on government hoping it would consider such demands when it probe its proposed new unified Labor Law during upcoming period. It worthy mentioning that this new law has apparently disregard many of the daily paid laborers' economic and social rights.

Thus here are some of the recommendations that we strongly emphasis and we they would be hopefully embodied in the proposed new labor law articles.

The amending of article 197 of the proposed law that restrict the laborer's right to strike except by the approval of the majority of the union's 1/3 membership.

Continuity of the guarantees offered for laborers of public, private and civil servant sectors. These guarantees are stipulated in the country's prevailing work legislation and preserving the rights of laborers in earning suitable wages, leaves, bonus, and to object to unfair decisions of transfer and dismissal. In the new proposed law, it noted that there is a wide area of freedom for the work masters to dismiss their laborers without giving justifiable reasons for that. The unjustifiable reasons might be for economic factors, dwindling of the laborer efficiency in work, unfair and tyrannical disciplines and dismissal, especially n cases of strikes.

It is necessary that the wages of the laborers should be increase to cope with the increase in the working hours - reached to 17 monthly as stated in the proposed law. Here, we should emphases the importance of abiding to the payment regulations endorsed by the country' Higher Council for Wages. We should therefore amend what stated about the wages regulations of this council, which seen by the new law a consolatory institution that has nothing to do with wages arrangement.

More strict conditions should be imposed on work masters' rights to cease their activities any time they want. If such we be done, they should pay reasonable compensation for their employees. Also in case the work master assigned a worker a jobs that differ from his/her profession, he must pay he/ she the same payment they agreed upon it when started the work with him.

Amending the new proposed law's article that deals with the rights of the career women. It noted that article No132 of the law has violated many of the career woman rights. It for instances, reduced the period of the maternity leave and that of the child care period as well as the number times offered of workers woman as labor leaves. Therefore, such article should be amended to suit with the present circumstances of the career women.

The proposed law should include all legal guarantees offered for the tyrannically dismissed laborer. It therefore highly recommended that the Egyptian judiciary system should considered the only end to decide in suspending the dismissal decision issued against such laborer. It (the judiciary) would the one allow such labor to receive his full salary and a suit compensation for his unfair suspension. It would also decide whither or not to receive his pay till the case of compensation is heard and decided on.

The unification of the official age for work in accordance with that mentioned in the Child Law. The use of child in unsafe works - spraying of pesticides - should also prohibited and enforcing heavy penalties on the offenders of the law articles dealing with the child workmanship.

We well aware that several studies have conducted on the proposed new labor Law' and that the outcome of these studies have showed many violations of the laborers' rights and guarantees offered in the prevailing work legislation. For that reason we hope that this report would add a new page to the many studies concluded in this respect. We also urge all officials concerned to work hand in hand to give these recommendation its due consideration when the proposed law being discussed soon by the government.

Our report is also forwarded to all members of local councils9 People's Assembly, Shura, local area councils), Egyptian political parties and professional and labor syndicates. Our aim of that to urge them to be up to the challenge and firmly stand against the attack on laborers' rights that to have at the end a law that would guarantee the labor his rights and humanity. In short, Our aim is to have a law that would preserve the laborer' rights and guarantees mentioned in the prevailing and legalized work legislation.

We also forward this report to the Labor Union and members of the general syndicates. Our aim of that is to urge them consolidate to finally have a law that would not reduce any of their laborers' rights that endorsed by the current and prevailing work legislation. That of course for the benefit of Egypt's the entire laborer whom honestly shoulders you the responsibility of representing them at the very sensitive time of Egyptian contemporary history. Finally, we actually forwarding this report to Egypt 's laborers so as to know more about their situations and rights and to contribute to the efforts exert to improve the situations of their rights.


APPENDIXES

Month Strikes Setting on Demonstration Other kinds of protesting Total
December 5 2 - 2 9
January 7 9 1 6 23
February 4 4 2 5 15
March 4 1 5 4 14
April - 1 4 3 8
May 1 2 2 6 11
Total 21 19 14 26 80

Source: Land Center for Human Rights

THIS SERIES OF REPORTS AIM TO ATTENDING OF THE FOLLOWING GOALS:

1- Enhancing the standard of awareness about the economic and social human rights in Egypt. It also aims at closing the present gap in aspects of human rights research and studies.

2- Contributing to the efforts being made to improve the current situations of practicing of these rights. In this respect, we aim at revealing the various factors that lead to the violations of these rights.

3- Participating in all efforts that currently being staged to prevent farther deterioration of the human rights situation. These efforts being emphasized specially under the prevailing market economy policies that adopted by the state.

4- Finally, this reports aim at identifying the views and the social- economic needs of the froups that mostly exposing to such violations. We have no doubt that such violation are a direct result of the absence of the contribution of these groups in the process of the decision marketing in the country.

UNDER THIS SERIES WE PRODUCED:

1- Child-labor in the Egyptian rural area are victims without any protection: field studies conducted at cotton ginning factories.

2- Notes on environment protection conditions in Egypt's rural community. Facts about the violation of environment at Wadi Sannour natural reserve.

3- The position of the woman-labor in Egypt's countryside with field notes on conditions in rural areas.

4- producing of pollution in Egypt.

5- Labor conditions in Egypt during 1999.

6- Ostracizing of farmers in Egypt's countryside: poor rural people bear the brunt of governmental administrative corruption.

Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Mahmoud Elsaqqa
    professor of law at C.U

  • Dr. Adel Eid
    Lawyer

  • Dr. Fathy Abdel Fatah
    Prof. of Social Scie.
    head of Info Res. Center.
    Gomhurya News.

  • Dr. Ibrahim Abaza
    Prof. of Economics at C.U

  • Dr. Albeir Beshara
    Prof. of Agricultural Eco.
    Director of Ago. Res. C.

  • Dr. M. El-Desouki
    Prof. of Psycho- Science

    q STAFF

  • Karam Saber
    Executive Manger

  • Mahmoud Gabr
    Legal Unit Officer

  • Rabie Wahba
    Int. Relations Officer

    Hisham Abdel Halim
    Field Work Officer

  • Abdel Moula M.
    Researches Unit Officer

  • Khalil Abo Alhassan
    Researcher

  • Manar Mohammed
    Researcher

  • Emad Abo Zaid
    Researcher

  • Ashraf Saad Aziz
    Lawyer

  • Wae'l M. Abdo
    Lawyer

  • Yehia hassan
    Lawyer

  • Khaled Farag
    Lawyer

  • Nargis Fayez
    Lawyer

  • Nader Abdel Wahab
    Lawyer

  • Madiha Sayed Ali
    Executive Secretary
  • THE AIMS

  • To provide legal protection against maltreatment for children working in agriculture.

  • To contribute in improvement of works conditions in Egyptian rural areas.

  • To support farmers or agricultural workers unions and organization.

  • To generalize and provoke public opinion around issues of social interest such as the consequences of the law No. 96 of 1992, the problems suffered by workers, women and children in the agricultural sector and the absence of social security, labor contracts, unions, etc.

  • To establish strong bonds with local and international organizations who interest themselves in human rights activity.

    THE ACTIVITIES

  • The Legal Advocacy against: all forms of discrimination, violence, maltreatment, and torture that the farmers, farmer labors, children and women may expose to in the rural areas.

  • Monitoring all the human rights violations that occur in the rural areas, particularly in concerning of the right to health care, house, work, and clean environment.

  • Issuing the reports and studies that demonstrate the conditions of the farmers in the rural areas in order to contribute to creating an appropriate legislative structure in line with the rules of the constitution and the international covenants of human rights.

  • Developing the citizens' consciousness about their human rights through issuing the following series: "Reports of the Economic and Social Rights" - "Land and Farmer" - Humanistic Concepts - and "Your Legal Rights".

  • Establishing a network of volunteers and training them on working in the field of human rights.



  • Land Center for Human Rights established in December 1996
    122 Galaa' St., Borg Ramsis Building, 7th floor, Ramsis Sq., Cairo Egypt.
    (202) 5750470, (202) 575047
    lchr@thewayout.net


    Human Rights in Egypt

    This document is published online by Derechos Human Rights