ICLD workers entitled to LE 400 minimum wage, says NGO

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CAIRO: Information Center for Local Development (ICLD) workers are entitled to receive the recently set LE 400 minimum monthly wage, according to the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR).

The ECESR says that Egypt’s roughly 32,000 workers were employed under Labor Law 137 of 1981, and should therefore not be categorized as state administrative employees.

ICLD workers’ wages — which range between LE 99 and LE 150 per month — have not changed since they were appointed in 2001. They have waged a long-running battle for parity with government employees, calling for increased wages, health insurance, and pension benefits.

Safwat El-Nahhas, head of the National Wages Council’s (NWC) complaints committee, said that the new minimum wage does not apply to state administrative employees, who already earn LE 492 per month.

ECESR emphasized in a statement issued Tuesday that the state’s role “does not end with putting in place a minimum wage on paper only.” Rather, the minimum wage must be implemented “in practice.”

The ECESR recently lodged a case against the decision to set the minimum wage at LE 400 per month, arguing that the manner in which the NWC set the minimum wage and its failure to achieve a “balance between wages and prices [that] will ensure a life of dignity for workers” is unlawful and unconstitutional.

ECESR is lobbying for a general, nationwide minimum wage of LE 1,200. NWC officials have dismissed this as “unrealistic,” stating that it will lead to inflation.


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