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Workers strike at Sokhna port, everyone loses

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Operator DP World may close all operations at the port if strikes continue

Inside Ain Sokhna port as workers continue the strike. (Photo by Hassan Ghoneima)

Operator DP World may close all operations at the port if strikes continue.(Hassan Ghoneima)

A workers’ strike in Sokhna port caused losses to Dubai Ports World Company (DP World), which operates Sokhna port, after two ships changed their destinations to other ports.

Around 1,200 workers from Platinum Company in Sokhna are on strike for the sixth day, demanding that their contracts be reinstated and that permanent employment is guaranteed.

DP World has not met deadlines for their clients, owners of international navigation lines, said Head of Sokhna port security forces Mohamed Shams.

The company declared that it is considering closing all Sokhna port operations if the strike continues. The company also stated that it will make contracts with new companies, to obtain workers to stem the flow of losses.

Two weeks ago, workers became worried that they may lose their jobs after DP World ended its contract with Platinum Company, a private company responsible for labour supply to DP World.

DP World has contracted with six companies, not including Platinum, to supply workers, but has promised to employ all workers contracted with Platinum.

Shams stated that losses have resulted because customs revenues and fees for the Red Sea Port Authority had been halted.

Shams added that they would hold a meeting between workers’ representatives and company administration.

Containers and trailers at the Sokhna port may be unable to access it due to expected overstock by the end of this week.

The problem is attributed to delays to container scanning processes at the port caused by the strike.

“Apart from the scanning process the port is not closed and all activities, including charging and discharging, are ongoing,” head of Red Sea Ports Authority Mohamed Abdel Qader Gab-Allah told Daily News Egypt.

Gab-Allah said that he will not allow DP World to dismiss the workers, and will hold the company responsible if any dismissals take place.

“Armed forces tried to persuade workers to end their strike, but it did not work,” he said.

“We will never let DP create an Egyptian labour monopoly,” said Ahmed Rashad, a member of the Platinum workers’ syndicate.

DP World signed an agreement with former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif in October 2007 that granted the company exclusive rights to run the port until 2032.

DP World is the third largest port operator in the world.

About the author

Hend El-Behary

Hend El-Behary

Follow her on Twitter @HendElBehary


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