Minister says LE 1,200 monthly minimum wage ‘unrealistic’

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CAIRO: Half of Egyptians spend only LE 500 per month and 12 percent live on LE 11,000 a year, according to Osman Mohamed Osman, Minister of Economic Development and head of the National Wages Council (NWC), who dismissed the proposed LE 1,200 minimum wage.

Osman stated that no employer can afford to pay a monthly minimum wage of LE 1,200 to an entry-level employee “while the employee’s production only amounts to LE 600.”

Cairo’s Administrative Court recently found that the NWC was in violation for not fulfilling its duty to set a minimum wage, after which the council set the monthly minimum wage at LE 400.

Labor activists have heavily criticized the NWC’s decision. Last week the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) announced that it had launched a legal challenge contesting the minimum wage level.

The ECESR has been at the forefront of a campaign for a minimum wage of LE 1,200 per month.

Osman was quoted by state-run daily newspaper Al-Ahram as having said that LE 1,200 is “unrealistic and unsuitable to the country’s economic conditions, particularly given that the minimum wage is paid to an unmarried young man at the beginning of his life whose wage increases proportionately with his career progress.”


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