Resign, if you want a job

It’s a bit like like those pre-nuptial agreements where celebrities sort out the divorce terms with their lawyers in advance of getting married – except that the people involved here are not celebrities but poor Egyptian factory workers.

Reporting on exploitation in the sweat-shops of the Qualified Industrial Zone (an Egyptian-Israeli “friendship” venture), Hossam el-Hamalawy tells of 24-year-old Alaa Gameel who, in order to get his $2-a-day job, had to sign an undated resignation letter allowing his boss to fire him at any time. Besides that, he has no employment contract, no health insurance, no retirement funds … and hasn’t been paid his wages for the last three months.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 14 July 2009