Egypt: Trade Unions

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 17th October 2011.

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Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment his Department has made of the rights of trade unions in Egypt.

Photo of William Hague William Hague The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Egyptian authorities have indicated that they will reform labour laws and have made some progress. However Egypt has seen dramatic changes this year and significant challenges remain. As part of wider reform in Egypt, we support labour law reform and are monitoring the situation. In March 2011, the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend Alistair Burt, raised our concerns about new Egyptian laws to outlaw protests and strikes with the Egyptian Finance Minister. Staff from the British embassy in Cairo have also discussed the possibility of establishing an independent Trade Union Congress in Egypt with local trade unionists in Cairo.

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