By Doaa Farid
Minister of Manpower Kamal Abu-Eita on Thursday ratified the reshuffle of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation’s (ETUF) board, headed by Gebaly El-Maraghy, following a vote by the ETUF earlier that day.
New ETUF president Abdel-Fatah Ibrahim confirmed his election by the 24 general unions. “Candidates for heading the union were selected and members voted to reshuffle the board,” Ibrahim said, stressing that the Minister of Manpower is not involved in any of these measures, as the decision lies with the federation.
Ibrahim added that the work agenda for the next phase would put more attention on social justice, the amendment of the labour legislation and setting the minimum and maximum wages.
Maintaining social justice is among the interim government’s main priorities, said Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf El-Araby in a press conference earlier in August, stressing that this is the first time the government has had a deputy Prime Minister for social justice.
The National Council for Wages agreed in August to formulate a national wage policy which will include studying the maximum and the minimum level of income at the national level, in addition to linking wages and pensions to the standard of living.
The ETUF also appointed Mohamed Salem as deputy head, Abdel Moneim Al-Gamal as treasurer and Khaled Shaaban as Secretary General.
When asked whether the former board had included members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ibrahim replied: “Let’s look to the future and leave the past”.
Meanwhile, the former head of ETUF, El-Maraghy told state-run Ahram Online on Saturday that he was removed because “he did not support the new Syndicate Freedom Law (SFL), which the ministry prepared two weeks ago.”
General Trade Union of Land Transport’s (GTULT) general assembly held a meeting on Saturday with El-Maraghy and decided to support the sacked administration, according to Ahram.
El-Maraghy was appointed on Sunday as representative for the ETUF within the 50-member Constituent Assembly tasked with amending the 2012 suspended constitution.
Abu-Eita denied that the ministry issued a decision to dissolve the union’s administration and stated that such a decision is an internal one that the cabinet cannot involve itself with, according to a statement on the ETUF website.
Abu-Eita was the president of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions before becoming the Minister of Manpower in July. After his appointment, hundreds of ETUF workers protested his appointment.