Reforming work conditions will benefit Egyptian business: Industry chief

Marwa Hussein, Friday 20 Apr 2012

Adel El-Ezaby, a member of the Egyptian industrial federation says good working conditions are important from an ethical as well as economic point of view

Egypt worker protests
Egyptian museum staff protesting for higher wages last year (Photo: AP)

Decent, well-paid work for citizens also brings benefits to business, an official from the labour commission of Federation of Egyptian Industries has said.

"Everything should be 'decent' -- not only jobs, but education, as well as health care and justice," Adel El-Ezaby, the commission's chair, told Ahram Online.

El-Ezaby was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day conference on labour issues held in Cairo this week.
“Regardless of productivity, profits, prices and the market, is it logical to treat a machine better than a human being?" El-Ezaby said.
"We give maintenance for machines, for our cars. Workers as a component of production need maintenance as well, by which we mean the elements of 'decent work'. You cannot expect high productivity from a miserable worker."
El-Ezaby gave his definition of 'a decent job' as one with good working conditions which take into consideration the health of employees, afford them training and provide a salary which can support a family.
He claimed that creating such jobs wouldn't harm business profitability if changes were made simultaneously by all firms working in the same field.
But he admitted that not all the private sector in Egypt shared his views on the importance of 'decent work'.
"There is a bad culture, the serious businessmen are few and lots of investments are in non-productive areas like real estate and entertainment," El-Ezaby concluded.
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