In a step ahead of liquidation, the board of directors of the Egyptian Company for Iron and Steel decided to shut down the factory, stopping operations and banning workers from attending.
The order was issued in January. Losses and debts reaching LE17 billion were cited as the reasons behind the closure. Liquidating the company and selling its assets is expected to take nearly two years.
The company informed workers, whose number is estimated at 7,000, not to show up for work until an agreement on compensation was reached.
Employees held a sit-in on Sunday to press for better compensation ranging from LE400,000 to LE700,000 for each worker.
However, the Ministry of Public Enterprises offered to pay each worker from LE225,000 to LE450,000. The union announced its rejection of the plan. According to ministerial sources, the workers will be reimbursed during a period not exceeding three months.
Established in 1954, the company played a leading role for decades in producing iron and its derivatives.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 3 June, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly