On March 8th Better Work recommenced operations in Egypt as one component of a wider programme called strengthening labour relations and promoting inclusive social dialogue for development. The initiative was launched in meeting convened by the Prime Minister with the participation of the Minister of International Cooperation and the Ministry of Manpower as well as the representatives of employers’ and workers’ organisations.
Strengthening labour relations and promoting inclusive social dialogue for development is a multi-year initiative deigned to support Egyptian tripartite constituents to strengthen their institutions and implement the labour laws and practices that create an enabling environment for freedom of association and collective bargaining. Better Work’s specific contribution is to support workers and managers in enterprises in the textile and RMG sector to improve labour relations and compliance with national laws and international core labour standards.
“We are excited by the potential of this programme “says Dan Rees, Chief of Better Work. “There is now a new opportunity for our tripartite constituents to improve the environment for freedom of association and establish stronger industrial relations and ILO is now well positioned to support them to do so. Progress on these key issues is vital to Egypt’s ability to create decent work and inclusive economic growth. Better Work’s contribution is to bring its unique collaborative approach to improving social dialogue, working conditions and competitiveness in the garment and textile sector”.
Better Work will begin by offering factory assessment, advisory and training services to improve working conditions and enhance responsible business practices in about 30 factories, with further expansion anticipated as progress is made in implementing the project objectives. Better Work previously ran a limited pilot in Egypt between July 2017 and December 2018.
Better Work – a joint programme of the ILO and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group – is currently active in 1,700 factories, with a reach to 2.4 million workers. Through its work in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Nicaragua and Vietnam, the programme has improved working conditions including increasing take-home pay, reducing workplace harassment and a narrowing the gender pay gap, while also driving increases in firm profitability of up to 25%.