Work has ground to a halt at the Ain Sokhna Port in Suez for the third consecutive days amid a workers' strike among employees of the Platinum labor firm.
Workers for the company are demanding permanent employment at the port. Dubai Ports World, the company that operates the port, has ended its contract with Platinum, a private company that supplies labor. Workers fear they will lose their jobs, and are also protesting the dismissal of eight of their colleagues.
Ships have been unable to access the port, and DP World has diverted one of the ships scheduled to offload there to a port in Aqaba, Jordan, as a result of the strike.
DP World has also said that it will continue to employ Platinum workers, contract changes notwithstanding.
“It has been agreed with the new labor companies [that they will take] advantage of Platinum workers’ expertise and grant them all financial rights,” DP World said.
Ain Sokhna, near the southern end of the Suez Canal, is Cairo's main port for cargo from the Far East.
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.
However, workers at the port have repeatedly gone on strike over benefits, job security and other workplace issues. A 12-day strike was brought to an end in October 2012 after the government intervened, but several of the workers’ demands remained unfulfilled.
Edited translation from MENA