Workers at Orascom Construction Industries (OCI.CA) have staged a sit-in on Wednesday morning outside the company’s head office in Corniche El Nil to express their opposition to the government’s arbitrary actions against OCI.
The workers said their sit-in is neither against the state nor the government but it is to represent their rejection to the arbitrary actions taken against the OCI.
The government is forcing OCI to pay tax dues worth EGP 14 billion for the Lavarge deal which was concluded many years ago, the workers added. The arbitrary actions continued against the OCI by issuing a travel ban decree against OCI chief executive Nassef Sawiris and his father Onsi, the founder and former chairman.
The workers pointed out that the sit-in could result in shutting down the OCI’s operations.
Eng. Ashraf Khairy, Deputy Project Manager at OCI, stated that he supports the state’s demands to obtain its rights. However, there are multiple legal procedures and methods that must be followed.
Khairy further stressed the importance of resuming talks between the Egyptian government and OCI management in order to settle the disputes in peaceful ways. Therefore, the state would obtain its financial rights alongside the OCI and its employees’ interests would be preserved.
Moreover, Khairy urged the Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi to hold an urgent meeting with Naguib Sawiris and his brother OCI chief executive Nassef in order to settle all the existing disputes.
“Such a meeting would give a message to the whole world that Egypt is for everyone opening its arms to all the national and foreign investments.” Khairy noted