About 12,000 workers at the state-owned Egyptian Iron and Steel Company entered a third day of a strike they resumed on Saturday as the government apparently fails to respond to their financial and administrative demands.
The workers had announced an all-out strike late November demanding the disbursement on delayed bonuses and the removal of the company’s board.
Workers on Monday went on massive marches inside the company’s premises, said a statement by the Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services (CTUWS). The protesters, who closed up company gates, halted transactions, prevented entry and exit from the facility and threatened to suspend operations at the factory’s furnaces.
CTUWS said that halting operations at the only functional furnace in the factory could cause tens of millions of pounds in losses. It also means a halt of supplies to the El Nasr Company for coke and Chemicals, another state-owned company where workers have also been in protests that led to removal of its director.
According to CTUWS, a labor leader working for the company filed a complaint at the General Prosecution last January accusing the managing board of causing a 92 percent loss of the company’s capital due to poor, corrupt management, providing reports from the state’s Central Auditing Organization as evidence.
The statement explained that the government failed to keep the promise it made late 2013 to remove the company’s chief, Mohamed Negeida, which, CTUWS said, encouraged him to get back at the workers.
Haytham Mohamedein, a lawyer active in labor rights, said the workers are under severe pressures from their superior department heads who are threatening them with referral to military trials, relocation, fining and displacement in a bid to oblige them to end their sit-in and abstain from staying up at the facility.