Governor's committee to negotiate deal for strike-ridden Sokhna seaport

Ahram Online, Saturday 9 Feb 2013

Committee will negotiate with workers who in strike action have put Ain Sokhna out of service for 10 days

Sokhna seaport
Ain Sokhna Port (http://www.dpworldsokhna.com/)

Governor of Suez Samir Aglan announced Saturday he has delegated a legal committee to negotiate with striking workers at Ain Sokhna seaport, which continues to be out of service for the tenth day.

Hundreds of workers of Platinum Maritime Services — a subcontractor at the seaport — staged a strike 10 days ago and ongoing demanding employment contracts with Dubai-based DP World, which manages the port, after the latter ended its contract with Platinum.

The committee has reportedly contacted the head of the Red Sea ports authority, Mohamed Gaballah, as well as the head of Platinum, Maged Marei, to negotiate the status of the workers after the contract ended.

For its part, DP World denied in a statement published in state newspaper Al-Ahram Saturday that it has laid off any Platinum workers.

"DP World has agreed with the new subcontractors (replacing Platinum) to re-hire the workers previously employed by Platinum but the workers themselves rejected the offer and demanded that Platinum continues its work at the port [despite the end of the contract]. Hence, DP World stresses that it is not responsible for the halt of work operations caused by Platinum workers and that it has contacted pertinent authorities to take the necessary measures against the encroachment caused by Platinum and its workers in the port."

Workers holding temporary contracts have staged several strikes since October to demand employment contracts with DP World. The dispute escalated when DP World management decided at the end of last year to end its service contract with Platinum Maritime Services, thus ending its temporary contracts with the subcontractor's employees.

Egypt's Red Sea Port Authority had earlier announced that it had reached an agreement with DP World to employ almost 1200 workers of various subcontracting companies that had served the seaport in cooperation with DP World. The proposal, however, was rejected by the workers' independent syndicate.

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