Paying unemployment benefits is not a responsibility of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation, the organisation said Tuesday, amid a sit-in at the Ministry of Manpower by unemployed workers demanding pay.
Dismissed worker Samir Ragab Al-Shimy said Minister of Manpower Kamal Abu-Eita had promised EGP 500 in monthly unemployment benefits, and “is standing against the revolution, which called for equality.” Fifty workers are currently demonstrating within the ministry, Al-Shimy confirmed.
In a statement, the ETUF said unemployment benefits are the responsibility of the government, which is constitutionally compelled to protect workers.
A representative from the ETUF added the emergency fund for the Ministry of Manpower is responsible for the pay, while the union’s secretary general Khalid Sha’aban said that the union has sent reports to the government and ministers to intervene in reinstating the workers facing unfair dismissal.
Al-Shimy meanwhile said the ETUF had offered to sponsor unemployment benefit pay, but the ETUF denies the claim.
Abu-Eita came under fire after thanking the ETUF for agreeing to pay the unemployment benefit Tuesday, the ETUF said it would only pay a grant before the Eid holiday.
According to dismissed Petrojet worker Khamis Mohamed Said, the minister’s first secretary, Mohamed Eissa, had announced that an EGP 500 grant would be paid but continued that the “sit-in will not end unless there is a return of workers who faced unfair dismissal and have workforce-reinstating court orders.”
“The emergency fund responsible for the unemployment benefit has over EGP 2b, [but] the ETUF has declared it is unable to pay the grant to all 690 workers,” claimed Said.
Said explained that “several of the unemployed will not be given the grant due to their dismissal cases remaining under review.”
ETUF chairman AbdelFatah Ibrahim has been conducting meetings with several parties to discuss minimum and maximum wage over the past week, while also voicing his disagreement with the multiple trade union system.