ETUF signs $1 mln agreement with Iraq for Egyptian workers
Gebaly al-Maraghy, ETUF's head - YOUM7/Amr Moustafa

CAIRO: The Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) signed an agreement with the Iraq government to transfer $1 million in pensions and bills of exchanges for about 200 Egyptian workers, Al Mal business newspaper reported.

An ETUF delegation held a number of meetings with the Iraqi labor union, the minister of labor and social affairs, and a number of labor leaders in Iraq to obtain the agreement, said head of the ETUF, Abdel Fatah Ibrahim, Al Mal reported.

The bills of exchange date back to the Gulf War in 1991, when the Iraqi government halted money transfers and gave each foreign worker a bill of exchange for his due sum, in order to avoid bankruptcy during the war and to provide necessary money liquidity to buy weapons, Sada El Balad reported.

Nassar al-Rabei, the Iraqi Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, said Iraq has finished cashing $408 million of $912 million in bills of exchange, al-Rabei said during his meeting with Minister of Manpower and Immigration Nahed Hasan Ashry a month ago.

Ashry said the total sum includes about $500 million in interest, which requires coordination between Iraqi and Egyptian ministries of foreign affairs, Sada El Balad reported.

ETUF’s head said the Iraqi minister of labor and social affairs has ordered a counting of the remaining due bills of exchange for immediate return to Egyptian workers or their heirs, Al Mal reported.

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