International tourism union suspends Egypt's membership

Ahram Online, Saturday 24 Mar 2012

Federation says Egypt's tourism union fails to meet global standards when it comes to workers' freedoms

Pyramids san tourists
Waiting for the lull to end: horses wait beside the Pyramids in Giza (Photo: Reuters)

The International Federation of Tourism Trade Unions has frozen the membership of Egypt's government-affiliated tourism union, saying it fails to meet international standards for trade union freedoms.

The federation's Secretary General, Ron Oswald, made the announcement in Cairo on Friday following a meeting with Egypt's tourism union's general chairman Abdul Aziz Abdullah, deputy chairman Mohammed Abdel Aziz, and other representatives.
Egypt's tourism union is affiliated to the General Union of Egyptian Workers, the country's official workers organisation which comes under state control and has been long-accused of carrying out rigged elections.
Oswald hailed Egypt's revolution and its success in winning workers the right to form independent trade unions, free from government influence, in line with international laws signed by Egypt with the International Labour Organization (ILO).
He said Egypt's Mubarak-era governments did not implement these agreements, leading to the country's black-listing when it came to trade union freedoms and workers' rights.
Oswald called on the union's chairman to attend the federation's international conference in Geneva, held in May.
Egypt's tourism industry is struggling to recover in the wake of last year's revolution. Tourist revenues were down a third in 2011 when compared to the previous year, according to government data.
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