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Egypt's Sokhna Port paralysed as labour strike enters 2nd day

Hundreds of striking workers at Egypt's only private port, demanding share of company profits and higher risk allowances, say port management has yet to respond to demands

Ahram Online, Monday 13 Feb 2012
Sokhna
Ain Sokhna Port (http://www.dpworldsokhna.com/)
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Operations at Egypt's eastern Ain Sokhna seaport remained paralysed on Monday as a labour strike by port workers entered its second day.

Over 900 workers began an open-ended general strike on Sunday to pressure the seaport's foreign operator to share company profits and raise risk allowances.

"The port's management has not responded to our calls," Ali Selim, vice president of the port's workers syndicate, told Ahram Online.

Striking workers' main demands include a share of company profits and risk allowances comparable to those received by their counterparts at other seaports.

According to Selim, six port workers are also waging a hunger strike until their demands are met.

The strike is only the latest example of labour unrest at the privately-run port, which is situated near the southern end of Egypt's Suez Canal. Workers had also downed tools in both September and May of last year to push their demands for a more just wage structure.

Sokhna Port is Cairo's primary seaport for cargo originating from the Far East. The port, which is operated by Dubai-based DP World, employs around 1,200 permanent and 4,000 temporary workers.

Sokhna Port's strike is unrelated to the general strike called at the weekend by some political groups to protest against Egypt's ruling military.

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