DETROIT – 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, Electrolux, Royal Dutch Shell, Heineken, Toyota., Suzuki, 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 Friday.
“This was a precautionary safety measure to ensure employees would not be exposed to risks traveling to and from work,” Daniel Frykholm, a spokesman for Swedish appliance maker Electrolux, said in an email. The company, which has about 6,700 workers in Egypt, will decide Saturday evening if it’s safe enough to resume normal operations, Frykholm said.
Royal Dutch Shell closed its offices Thursday. They will remain shuttered through Saturday.
General Motors’ Egyptian operations will remain shut indefinitely, including a plant in the Cairo suburb of 6th October City where it makes cars, light trucks and minibuses.
The auto giant has about 1,400 workers in Egypt, where in 1983 it became the first private automaker to establish operations in the country.