Sit-in at Ain Sokhna port continues despite army negotiations

Bassem Abo Alabass, Tuesday 12 Feb 2013

Negotiations between the army and striking workers at Egypt's Ain Sokhna port were unsuccessful

Ain Sokhna port
Egypt's Ain Sokhna Port (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Ain Sokhna port remains shut on Tuesday, with all operations suspended, as port workers continued their sit-in for a thirteenth day, following failed negotiations with army leaders.

Around 1,200 workers at Platinum Maritime Services – a subcontractor at the seaport – launched a sit-in two weeks ago, demanding permanent contracts with the private Dubai-based company that manages the port, DP World.

"Army representatives have come with the same offer as DP World, which we rejected before," Abdullah Hussein, a driver at the port, told Ahram Online.

Hussein explained that the offers are temporary contracts with the Dubai-based operator and a minimum wage of LE750 per month, including meal and transportation allowances.

"We are allowing tourist ships to dock at the port, as well as basic foodstuff containers, but the rest of the ships are stopped," Hussein added.

"I do not know why DP World are hindering our permanent employment. They have employed outsourced workers before in the safety department," he said.

Mohamed El-Leithy, a trade unionist in Suez governorate, said that the army’s representatives threatened the protesters at the port, telling them that operations must be resumed.

The government has incurred costs of a total of LE120 million as a result of the closure of the port, Ahram Arabic reported on Monday.

DP World were unavailable to comment.

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