Egypt Watch

Workers of Egyptian Iron & Steel Co demonstrate over factory’s closure

The Board of Directors of the Egyptian Iron and Steel Company have decided to close the company, starting from Monday, and stop the attendance of workers to the factory in preparation for liquidation. For the first time since it was put into operation 67 years ago, the blast furnace of the largest ironmaking fortress in Egypt has been extinguished forever.

Security personnel of the Iron and Steel Factory in Helwan entered the factory, cut off the gas from the furnaces, and the workers left after they were informed that work at the factory had stopped. On January 11, the extraordinary general assembly of the Iron and Steel Company, chaired by Muhammad Al-Saadawi, chairman of the Holding Company for Metal Industries, one of the Ministry of Business sector companies, decided to liquidate the company.

According to an official statement issued by the company, it was approved to divide the company into two, the Iron and Steel Company, which was liquidated, and the Company of Mines and Quarries. The General Assembly attributed the reason for the liquidation of the Iron and Steel Company to the high losses of the company and its inability to return to production and work again.

The Iron and Steel Company recently announced that from July 2019 to June 30, 2020, the company’s losses amounted to EGP 982.8 million. The losses came against a loss of EGP 1.5 billion for the corresponding period last year, while the total losses amounted to about EGP 9 billion.

Yesterday, about 1,200 workers of the first shift in the Iron and Steel Company demonstrated to demand compensation for the liquidation of the company and the dismissal of the Minister of the Public Business Sector, Hisham Tawfiq. Some workers told press sites that a large sector of workers are sticking to their original demand, which is to reverse its decision to liquidate the company. They added that in general there is consensus now, at least among the participants in the demonstration, on the need to raise compensation as a requirement that all workers agree upon if liquidation becomes inevitable.