Strike shuts Port Sudan for second day
On Monday, the southern port of Port Sudan witnessed total paralysis for the second day in a row due to a mass strike by workers in rejection of the privatisation contract signed by the government with the Philippine company.
Osman Tahir, the head of the Alternative Workers' Union, told Radio Dabanga that the strike was 100%, which led to a complete halt of the movement of exports and imports in the southern port.
He conditioned the lifting of the strike with cancelling the contract signed with the Philippine company.
Tahir described the contract as unfair and a huge loss for ports and the Sudanese people and considered it a security threat to the country as all imports of the state enter through this port.
He played down the importance of the government figures on the profits of the contract with the Philippine company, pointing out that the revenues of the port under the management of the Sea Ports Corporation is greater than the value of the tender.
Tahir attributed the signing of the unfair contract to the government's need for foreign currency in light of the huge deficit experienced by the country.
He warned of the dire consequences of the 20-year contract.
Tahir pointed out that the High Committee against privatisation which was announced on Monday includes representatives of the native administration and civil society organisations
He praised the popular stance supporting the workers and rejecting the privatisation.
Tahir said that the committee held a press conference on Tuesday evening to step up anti-privatisation through multiple means will be announced in a timely manner.
The government confirmed that there will be no displacement or damage to the workers in the southern port against the backdrop of partnership with a foreign company to operate the southern port in Port Sudan. Transport Minister Hatim El Sir stressed that the workers' rights will be preserved and no one will be harmed.
The minister said in statements that the Prime Minister stressed the need to preserve the rights of workers and non-displacement.
He added that the meeting came out with a set of guidelines to protect the rights of workers and that the work should be in the interest of the country, as well as the need to direct the work to achieve development and modernisation, especially as imports and exports are transported through the southern port.
The Minister of Transport announced that the Higher Committee to deal with the conditions of operation of the southern port will remain in Port Sudan, meet all parties and listen to their point of view.
He said in return, the government will present its view on the matter.
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