At a time when the Egyptian people are still shocked by the coup government’s announcement of the assassination of the “Egypt Iron and Steel” company, the giant of the iron industry in Egypt and the Middle East, which was established in the middle of the last century and had a prominent role in extending the “High Dam” with iron cabins and most of what it needs. The project is made of solid iron. The military coup regime is heading towards liquidating the giant of the aluminum industry in Egypt and the entire Middle East, which is the “Egypt Aluminum” company in Naga Hammadi.
Two days after the sit-in protesting the non-payment of their annual profits dues, the Egyptian Aluminum Company workers in Nag Hammadi, Qena governorate, announced a complete strike, while workers participating in the strike said that the National Security detained three members of the trade union committee at dawn on Monday, January 9, 2021 AD For several hours before they were later released, in an attempt to end the sit-in. According to the workers, members of the committee met, on Tuesday, January 10, with the governor of Qena, a meeting that did not result in a solution, in light of the governor’s adherence to the public business sector’s view that workers did not deserve annual profits due to the company’s losses in the last fiscal year.
A few days ago, the Syndical Committee had sent a memorandum, according to Mada Masr, to the head of the Holding Company for Metal Industries, which owns nearly 90% of the shares of “Misr Aluminum”, in which it said that the company’s losses are not due to workers ’negligence, but rather It goes back to the repercussions of the outbreak of the Coronavirus, which led to the “postponement of the shipment of large quantities of export contracts during March, at the request of customers, due to the disruption of ports and the reduction of work in them, the closure of factories and the stoppage that affected most European countries, and the decrease in demand in the local market, which led to a reduction Cash flows due to the decrease in the value of the revenue from sales as a result of the significant decline in the price level on the ASE[InternationalMetalExchangeinLondon»[بورصةالمعادنالعالميةفيلندن»
Despite what it said in the memorandum, the committee rejects the workers ’protests that have continued for days, and calls to wait for the outcome of the negotiations currently underway between the president of the General Syndicate for Metal Industries, Khaled Al-Feki, and the Minister of the Business Sector, Hisham Tawfiq, a view supported by Syed Hamid, head of the Workers Union in Industries The mineral in Qena.
In the same context, Eng. Mohamed El-Saadawy, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Holding Company for Metal Industries, one of the companies of the Ministry of Public Enterprise Sector, said that 21 months were spent for employees of Egypt Aluminum Company with a value of 126.1 million pounds for the last fiscal year despite the losses. On Wednesday, January 13, 2021 AD, a ministry statement indicated that this value was borne by the Egyptian Aluminum Company in full (12 months to support a temporary development of 69.1 million pounds in addition to 9 months of effort incentives worth 57.1 million pounds), in addition to the salaries of workers.
The statement said that despite the disbursement of these bonuses, the workers held a sit-in inside the company and stopped production, and in the event that the production lines were still stopped, this would lead to the continuation of losses and the inability of the company to disburse any grants or bonuses to the workers, and the matter may eventually reach the company’s inability. On the provision of monthly salaries as well as fulfilling its obligations.
The Chairman of the Holding said that the Egyptian Aluminum Company in Naga Hammadi is one of the largest companies in the holding company’s portfolio, with a capital of 1.6 billion pounds, and the company has achieved repeated successes as it is one of the most profitable public enterprise sector companies as well as one of the largest companies in terms of export.
He stressed that the Egyptian Aluminum Company, in the last fiscal year, achieved total losses of 2.1 billion pounds from current activity and net losses of 1.7 billion pounds during the fiscal year 2019/2020 (i.e. more than the paid-up capital) compared to profits of 571 million pounds for the fiscal year Previous 2018/2019.
He pointed out that the causes of the losses are due to the collapse of aluminum metal prices in the global mineral markets and exchanges, which led to a decrease in the company’s revenues by 2.4 billion pounds compared to the previous fiscal year, noting that metal prices change up and down according to their cycle in global markets and increased the consequences of the pandemic. Corona in the global markets, and among the reasons for achieving losses is also the high cost of production at Misr Aluminum Company as a result of the high price of supplying electric power compared to its counterparts in global smelters, which increased the cost by 338 million pounds over the previous fiscal year.
Amendments to the Business Sector Law
This scenario reinforces the amendments made by the coup regime months ago to the public business sector law and the unified regulation, which led to widespread labor protests that were aborted through the heavy security stick and the arrest of dozens of workers. Among the new provisions approved by the amendment of the law is the liquidation of companies that own the transport lines of the transport fleet within two years, which causes the displacement of hundreds of drivers and workers, in addition to granting the managing director the power to dismiss for reasons most of which are fake, in addition to granting the Board of Directors the right to lay off workers for economic necessity ( Without identifying them). Article 77 of the law stipulates that a worker be granted leave without pay for a period of 6 months upon exhaustion of sick leave, and that his fate is not determined after the period expires, which opens the door to unfair dismissal in accordance with the provisions of the law. The amendment also aims to reduce wages and incentives by up to 60%, due to the Minister of Business’s allegations regarding compensation for losses, according to the movement. The amendment to the law included a text allowing the distribution of 4% of the holding company’s profits to the leadership positions, which are naturally limited to a very limited number of people, in exchange for distributing only 8% of the profits to the total employees of the company who are estimated in the thousands.
According to observers, the same scenario that occurred with the iron and steel giant, the “Misr Iron and Steel” company, which was announced recently to liquidate, is repeated with the aluminum giant; This confirms that the coup regime is taking advantage of the repercussions of the outbreak of the Corona pandemic in order to privatize the remaining giant public sector companies for the account of mafia and whales of the private sector close to the military establishment, which has become a monopoly of most Egyptian economic activity.
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