Friday, October 29, 2010

Egypt sets new minimum wage at ONLY US$ 70 per month

Al-Masry Al-Youm
Monthly minimum wage raised to LE400; 'Not enough' say labor leaders

Thu, 28/10/2010

The government-run National Council for Wages on Thursday announced its decision to raise the national minimum wage from LE112 per month to LE400.

But while the decision was approved by council representatives of the government and business organizations, labor representatives expressed dissatisfaction.

"Government and business organization representatives supported the decision in spite of our opposition to it," said labor representative Abdel Rahman Kheir.

"At the meeting, the Minister of Economic Development refused all proposals made by council labor representatives," Kheir added. "He refused our proposal to raise the minimum wage to LE500 instead of LE400 for holders of lower-intermediate educational degrees; to LE750 for intermediate certificate holders; and to LE1000 for holders of advanced degrees."

"The decision came as a shock," said labor leader Nagi Rashad. " It is very unsatisfactory to Egypt's workers."

Rashad, who filed an initial lawsuit against the government earlier this year in demand of a higher minimum wage, added that he planned to file a second lawsuit against the government in hopes of seeing the minimum wage raised to no less than LE1500 per month.

Several Egyptian labor organizations have reportedly decided to stage demonstrations in coming days to condemn the council's decision.

Well-informed sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the council had already arrived at its decision before Thursday's meeting was convened.

*Translated from the Arabic Edition.
*Photograph by Jano Charbel

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