A decision by Minister of Manpower Kamal Abu Eita that dissolved the board of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) sparked controversy on Monday and Tuesday.
The minister’s decision unseated chairman Abdel Fattah Ibrahim and replaced him with his predecessor, Gebali Al-Maraghy.
The decree issued by Abu Eita cited a number of reasons for overhauling the board, accusing it of exploiting the kidnapping of its members by Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis for its own popularity, lying about the establishment of an “operation room” to mobilise workers to vote in favour of the constitution in last week’s referendum, allegedly wasting funds to increase the board’s popularity, among other accusations.
Despite Ibrahim’s refusal of the decision, Abu Eita notified the Central Bank to cease conducting transactions involving the former chairman or his treasurer Abdel Moneim Al-Gamal, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.
Ibrahim called a meeting with his board members following the decision and stressed the decision “threatened to fraction the trade union movement”. He added that he would agree to voluntarily giving up his position if the members of the federation agreed to it, stressing that the current structure needed to remain acting on behalf of workers’ rights, adding he would not taken legal action.
Meanwhile Al-Meraghy held a meeting with his new board as per the Abu Eita decision on Monday amidst tight security at the ETUF headquarters.
Additional reporting by Ibrahim Al-Masry