Egypt: no free unions, no social protection

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“There are young women, aged 16 to 20, working in the garment sector in very hard conditions for 12 hours a day and with monthly salaries of 200 Egyptian pounds (about 30 US dollars).

Most of these workers are excluded from any kind of social insurance. And if the workers try to form independent trade unions and bargain collectively, they are simply dismissed.”

This is how Rahma Refaat, a legal advisor at the Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress, describes the situation of Egyptian workers under the government of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In this exclusive interview to Equal Times, Rahma Refaat, Bassem Halaka and Emad El Araby, officers of Efitu, the new independent unions, call on the European governments and the international labour movement for support and solidarity.