Egypt: LORD International must respond to workers' demands and abide by minimum wage

Egypt: LORD International must respond to workers' demands and abide by minimum wage

London - The management of Egyptian company LORD International continues to ignore its workers' demands and fails to adhere to the state set minimum wage, constituting a clear violation of its workers' rights, said ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies on Thursday.

The London-based think tank stated that for months, the management of the shaving blades manufacturer has refused to negotiate with its 2,000 employees in Alexandria, prompting them to go on strike on July 26 in protest of their poor conditions.

Since last June, workers have called for their wages to be adjusted in line with the minimum wage set by the state, noting that the average monthly salary for workers who have spent ten years with the company is only around EGP 2,000 ($127).

Starting on January 1, 2022, the National Wages Council (NWC) in Egypt has set the minimum wage for private sector workers at EGP 2,400 (around $150). The NWC has also approved the disbursal of a periodic bonus to private sector workers at a rate of 3% of a worker's insurance contribution wage, which as of July 2021, should be at least EGP 60.

The average monthly salary for workers who have spent ten years with LORD International is only around EGP 2,000 ($127).

The majority of LORD International's workforce are employed under temporary annual contracts, with some workers having spent years in this situation. The company's workers demand that these contracts be replaced with permanent ones.

A worker at the company said that the company's management, which has repeatedly promised to negotiate with its workers to meet their demands, recently made an EGP 300 ($19) reduction to salaries, equivalent to the value of the Eid al-Adha bonus disbursed to workers.

ImpACT International has called on Lord International's management to fulfil its obligations towards its workers in accordance with the decisions made by the NWC, particularly in regard to the minimum wage set to come into effect at the beginning of next year.  

It also urged the company's management to respond to its workers' demands, afford them their full financial dues, and respect their right to object to and protest against what they see as a violation of their labor rights.

ImpACT stressed that the Ministry of Manpower and other relevant official bodies in Egypt should follow up on cases of labor rights violations within both for-profit and non-profit organizations operating in the country. It further called on them to fulfill their obligations under the International Wages Protection Convention (1949) ratified by Egypt in 1960, which ensures the right to timely compensation.

Article 7 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights assures "the right of everyone to just and favorable working conditions. These are in turn defined as fair wages with equal pay for equal work, sufficient to provide a decent living for workers and their dependents, along with safe working conditions."


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