Economic Policies Joint Press Releases

Corruption | Workers in Public Companies Reject Law Protecting Corrupt Deals

Workers in Public Companies:

We Reject Law Protecting Corrupt Contracts

Representatives of companies participating in this conference declare their outright rejection of the law to protect corrupt contracts, known as Law No. 32 of 2014, issued last April the 22nd, which prevents parties other than the co-signatories from taking legal action against sales and investment contracts concluded by the state with other entities and investors. This denies the right of workers and their advocates in uncovering suspicions of corruption in those contracts, which will be put under covers. The law under question does not stop at this. It brings to a close all current litigation under consideration by the Administrative Courts. Thus, it provides immunity for former state contracts and allows the signing of new contracts that would further squander state assets and natural resources, which are the property of its citizens, who are the real stakeholders and benefactors of oversight. This right is being appropriated by the government, from the hands of citizens and the judiciary, particularly the administrative courts. This came after several decisions in favor of workers, achieved through ECESR and other organizations, which invalidated several corrupt contracts and brought back several authorities and companies sold under suspicious circumstances, to say the least.

Privatization had been devastating to Egypt’s companies and its workers, who sought redress through several appeals, in an attempt to invalidate sales and privatization contracts of some companies – whose workers were made redundant in the interest of the investor –and to uncover corruption in their sales agreements. This began with Omar Effendi, then Tanta Flax, Shebin Textiles, Steam Boilers, Nile Cotton Ginning, and al-Arabiya for External Trade. Workers and their defenders from several legal centers managed to obtain final verdicts invalidating those companies’ sales contracts and returned them to the state, including to the consequent reinstatement of workers who were harmed by the sale of their companies, with all their entitlements. However, despite the finality of the decisions to invalidate the sales contracts and return the workers to their former position, the state continues to drag its feet in implementing the contracts and returning the companies to its ownership. Additionally, workers also continue to seek the courts to enable the implementation of the decisions concerning their return to work.

A quick review of the pre-sale size of legal labor in those companies indicates almost 27,370 workers. The privatization program resulted in the layoff of around 17,633 workers, through applying all means of pressure to force workers to leave the companies on early retirement. Current figures from those companies indicate that the number of workers today is 6,193 workers, with a decrease of 78%.

The participants emphasize that the current government’s continued blind disregard of the interests of the great majority of the people, would subject them to additional burdens, while destroying the resources that are supposed to be used to improve social services to reduce such burdens. This is evidence of the regime’s intractability towards the lessons of the Egyptian revolution, thus dragging the country into more conflict and insecurity and making the goal of building a state of democracy, justice, and rule of law more elusive than ever before.

Signatory Companies:

  • Al-Gharbiya Rice Mill
  • Portland Cement
  • Tanta Flax
  • Steam Boilers Company
  • Shebin Textiles
  • Nile for Cotton Ginning
  • Al-Arabiya for External Trade
  • Omar Effendi
  • Al-Nubariya for Seeds (Nubaseed)
  • Al-Arabiya Bolivar Spinning and Weaving
  • Starch and Glucose Company
  • Tanis Agricultural Company
  • Tora Cement
  • Simo Paper
  • Al-Beheira Joint Stock Company