In March 2010, The Egyptian Center For Economic And Social Rights obtained a court rule binding the Egyptian government to set a minimum pay for citizens.
During April and May 2010 , social, labor and rights movements were acting to request the government to implement the court rule. President Mubarak gave a speech on Labor Day on May 1st , in which he addressed labor issues in seven paragraphs that implied disregarding the court rule.
I honestly tell you that any review of the wage structures must be based on the relation between production and pay. Any increase in pay that does not reflect an increase in production will only result in weakening our competitive abilities , retreat in work opportunities and increase in inflation. Is that what we really want ? Will this serve the interest of society and back our ability for more investment , growth and operation?..
From my stand as President and an Egyptian citizen who cares for this country in present and future, call on all sons of Egypt to unite under one word , to rise above empty slogans and patronization. Let us all be up to the aspirations of peasants, laborers , the poor and the average towards a better life. Let us all hope for a safe country and a secure population.
What Mubarak mentioned in the speech is a clear and unexcused confusion between the minimum of wages to be set in society irrespective of production rate and the net pay which is directly related to production . The minimum wage is a the prime social defense line. It is calculated in every country according to international conventions which Egypt has rarified and base on the dependency ratio and the consumer basket that suffices the family to have a decent living, food, education, health care , transportation ,residence ,..etc.
The current standard of living in Egypt makes us wonder ,”How can a laborer who works 8 hours a day and receives EGP 100 monthly salary have a decent life ? How can we hope for a human development in a society where salaries cover 10 days of the month? Is that what we really want?”
The answer is definitely no, we seek social justice that provide decent wages for workers and employees and that will protect society from the minority of monopolists of goods and services leaving the majority to scorch in ever rising prices.
We demand implementing article 34 of the constitution that called for bridging the gap between incomes and stated the right of every Egyptian in a fair minimum pay. It is not a matter of patronizing but rather seeking the lost constitutional legitimacy under a government that wastes the constitution and will readily disregard court rulings and circumvent them.
Defying court rulings ,refraining from implementing them and criticizing them may no be done by lengthy discourse and misleading rhetoric , but rather be done in court halls that apply the constitution and the law in resolving civil and official disputes.
The Egyptian Center For Economic And Social Rights asserts the will to take all necessary procedures to implement the court ruling 12606/ jy63 to set a minimum wage in society. The Center challenged the negative attitude of the Egyptian government to implement the ruling by the appeal 34401/jy 64. The first hearing was set on 5/10/2010 before chamber 1 individuals of the administrative court.