Workers strike at Helwan steel company


Workers strike at Helwan steel company.

Workers at the state-run Egyptian Iron and Steel Company mounted a two-day strike to force the company’s management to pay a promised profit-sharing bonus and to displace the current chairman, said Ibrahim Selim – a labour leader in the company.

The workers started the strike on Saturday morning inside the headquarters of the company, after the end of the Friday midnight shift, demanding the resignation of the current chairman of the company – accusing him of being responsible for recent losses, Selim said.

“The company usually holds the workers responsible for the losses and cuts their promised profits,” said Selim.

He added that throughout this year labour leaders have been mobilising and distributing flyers to the workers “to convince them to strike and demand their rights”.

“The production process is currently stopped and more workers are joining the strike. We will not go back to work until our demands are met”.

“The General Assembly usually meets every year to announce the profits and losses of the company, and we were surprised that the company only showed the losses,” added Selim.

The General Assembly is an annual meeting between the company’s senior management team, the syndicate, and the workers.

In the 11 November meeting “the management renewed the term of the chairman, ignored the mentioning of profits, and only stated the losses, which exceeded EGP 13bn through the fiscal year, to justify the budget cut,” Selim said.

The management is trying to reach an agreement with the workers and has offered them an EGP 200 bonus, a proposal Selim called “absurd”. He added that the current workers’ syndicate cannot be trusted and all negotiations have to go through the workers themselves.

Mohamed Abdel Wahab, communication official at the Egyptian Iron and Steel Company, confirmed  that a group of workers are currently on strike and stated that the managers are trying to reach an agreement with them. Abdel Wahab declined to answer any other questions.


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