Egypt's Ain Sokhna port to reopen as 2-week-old strike ends
Two-week strike will come to an end as DP World agrees to reinstate fired employees, pending an investigation into the dispute
Ahram Online, Wednesday 24 Oct 2012
Operations are to resume at Ain Sokhna port as strike comes to end (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Workers at the Egyptian port of Ain Sokhna have agreed to end a two-week strike after management bowed to their demands to reinstate several colleagues.
Hundreds of employees downed tools earlier in October claiming that the southern Suez Canal port's management, Dubai-based DP World, had wrongfully dismissed eight co-workers.
The action eventually led to a complete freeze of operations at Egypt's major transit point for the Far East, a move that DP World said was costing the country's much needed port and customs fees.
Speaking on Thursday, workers representatives said a compromise had been reached with management and the port will reopen.
"The workers will be subjected to an internal investigation and will not be dismissed," Ashraf Issa, general secretary of the port workers' syndicate, told Ahram Online.
A committee has been reportedly formed to solve the dispute, comprised of a presidential advisor, the governor of Suez, two union representatives and one representative from the administration.
Egypt's Ministry of Manpower issued a statement earlier on Thursday criticising the use of abitrary lay-offs, and saying that the disagreement between workers and management should have been addressed amicably from the start.
It was only the latest full-scale strike at Ain Sokhna port. In the aftermath of Egypt's January 2011 uprising, workers have several times forced a freeze on loading and shipping to demand improvements in pay and conditions.