ILO asked to intervene in Egypt minimum wage issue

Khaled Ali, the head of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, will send an urgent petition to the International Labor Organization (ILO) on Monday, asking it to support Egyptian workers’ efforts to increase the minimum wage.

Ali will request the organization to ask the Egyptian delegation at its June conference why the Egyptian government refuses to implement international agreements and court rulings on increasing the minimum wage.

Ali will also send a memo to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif requesting an explanation of huge disparity in the salaries of government employees, with some receiving thousand of pounds while others are given only a few hundred.

An ILO official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Egypt has signed ILO Agreement No. 131 on minimum wage fixing, and could be penalized for not executing the agreement.

Not everyone in Egypt is so concerned about the minimum wage, however. Zaki Bassiouny, president of the Holding Company for Metal Industries, said his company pays the highest average wages among privatized companies, amounting to LE29,500 per year.

Mohsen el-Gilany, head of the Holding Company for Spinning and Weaving, said the average wages of workers in this sector have doubled in the last four years, reaching LE18,000 per year.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Investment continues to provide financial assistance to privatized companies making losses in order to protect wages from being cut.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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