Companies halt operations amid violence in Egypt
DETROIT (AP) - A number of international companies have suspended operations in Egypt as three days of violent street battles make the streets of Cairo unsafe.
General Motors Co, Electrolux AB, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Heineken NV, Toyota Motor Corp, Suzuki Motor Corp, BASF SE and others shut down facilities and told thousands of workers to stay at home during unrest that has left more 700 people dead as of late on Friday.
"This was a precautionary safety measure to ensure employees would not be exposed to risks travelling to and from work," Mr Daniel Frykholm, a spokesman for Swedish appliance maker Electrolux, said in an email. The company, which has about 6,700 workers in Egypt, asked employees to stay home on Wednesday afternoon and on Thursday. Friday and Saturday are the Egyptian weekend, and the company will decide on Saturday evening if it's safe enough to resume normal operations, Mr Frykholm said.
Royal Dutch Shell closed its offices on Thursday. They will remain shuttered on Friday and Saturday. The company also restricted employee travel as the violence continued and said it was monitoring the situation. It was unclear whether Shell's main production facility, a joint venture with Badr El-Din Petroleum Co, had been closed.