The Administrative Court cancelled the disciplinary sanctions imposed on 17 employees at the post office of Ashmoun in Menoufiya governorate on Saturday. The strike lasted five days from 23-27 February 2014.
The court asserted that the peaceful strike was a right and not a punishable offence, according to Article 15 of the Egyptian constitution. The article orders the legislature to organise this right, but the legislature did not regulate the right of strike in terms of the Civil Service Law and, in this case, the investigation suggests that the employees used their right to call for their legitimate rights, such as salaries, incentives, and allowances.
In its decision, the court called on the legislature to regulate the right of strike in the Civil Service Law as the labour law regulates this right.
Labour activist Wael Tawfik said that this ruling could be used in several cases, and the Civil Service Law ignored regulating the right of the labour strike in addition to several legislations, which ban workers in the public sector from striking. Tawfik added that this is not the first ruling from the Administrative Court regarding the right of striking.
He also called upon workers to go to the High Constitutional Court to consider the Civil Service Law unconstitutional because it does not have the right to regulate striking.
Human rights organisations say that the status of workers conditions are “deteriorating,” especially after a series of price hikes seen in the country due to the recent decisions made by the government in order to implement the terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Prices of most products, including essential goods, have increased in a very short period, which has heavily impacted low-income citizens.
Over the recent years, labour groups working in governmental institutions have not stopped arranging rallies to call for their rights.