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Egyptian state takes on independent trade unions

After Egypt recently declared independent trade unions invalid, many groups said they will fight the decision on the grounds that it violates the constitution.

CAIRO — In what many critics see as an effort to eliminate union organization in Egypt and undermine all constitutional articles guaranteeing the right to establish trade unions, the state on March 1 declared that the stamps of independent trade unions will no longer be valid on official documents. The decision prohibits dealing with independent trade unions and considers them illegitimate entities.

The decision came following a more than five-year struggle between independent trade unions and the state, represented by the Ministry of Manpower, which is in charge of following up on the establishment and activity of trade unions. After the January 25 Revolution, dozens of independent trade unions started forming to express workers' demands.

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