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Union acts against liquidation of Egyptian Iron and Steel Company

An Egyptian blacksmith hammers away at hot steel workshop in Cairo, Egypt [David Silverman/Getty Images]
An Egyptian blacksmith hammers away at hot steel workshop in Cairo, Egypt [David Silverman/Getty Images]

A major union is taking steps against the liquidation of Egyptian Iron and Steel Company, one of the companies linked to the Ministry of the Public Business Sector, RT reported on Wednesday. The company was established by the then President of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, in 1954.

The head of the Syndicate of Private Sector Workers called on the government to explain the decision taken at the Extraordinary General Meeting of the company. Shaaban Khalifa pointed out that the liquidation decision will have "negative consequences" for 7,500 workers and their families.

Khalifa added that the EGM took the easiest way out without considering alternatives that could stop the iconic company's losses, which are estimated at 9 million Egyptian pounds (approximately $600,000). He said that the issue could have been discussed with the private sector or the company could be granted some privileges from the state, such as export preferences.

At the same time, the union leader called for the Egyptian Prime Minister to commission a special investigation into the people behind the lossmaking company and the reasons for its current predicament. He reiterated the importance of not ignoring the plight of 7,500 skilled workers, trainers and educated people, so that their legitimate rights are fulfilled.

Lawyer Samir Sabri, meanwhile, has filed an urgent claim at the Administrative Court against the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Public Business Sector, the Head of Trustees of the company and the legal representative of the Holding Company for Iron Industries in an attempt to prevent the liquidation. Sabri explained that the company has unused assets, including more than 1,500 acres of land, and liquidation would mean the "destruction" of the historic industrial plant.

READ: Egypt's private sector is squeezed by the army's hold over the economy

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