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Workers protest further privatisation of Port Sudan

February 22 - 2017 PORT SUDAM
Port Sudan container terminal (File photo)
Port Sudan container terminal (File photo)

The Sea Ports Corporation workers in Port Sudan have threatened to organise demonstrations and sit-ins at the port in protest against the continuation of the privatisation procedures of the southern port of Port Sudan.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga following a sit-in by laid-off port workers on Monday, Osman Tahir, the head of the Alternative Port Workers Union, accuses the Ministry of Transport of “lack of transparency and continuing privatisation procedures in spite of the repeated denials by the Minister of Transport”.

Tahir said that privatisation has already started by dismissing the 400 temporary workers. There is also a plan to relocate 300 permanent workers in the southern port to the northern port in implementation of Dubai conditions to reduce the number of workers.

Tahir says that the privatisation of the southern port of Port Sudan will lead to the displacement of hundreds of workers and thousands of families.

He pointed out that according to what has been circulated, Dubai ports’ non- commitment to any obligations towards the workers of the port, the local community, or their rights, and underlined that “the port is the only income source for Port Sudan residents of the Red Sea state”.

He has stressed that the offer from Dubai to rent the southern port is less than the revenues of the past year, and says that “those calling for privatisation are pursuing their personal interests and disregarding the interests of the port.

“Red Sea state residents’ opposition to the privatisation procedures will escalate with the organisation of a number of educational activities such as seminars and demonstrations.

He has says the sit-in organised by the laid-off workers from the port on Monday as the first step in that escalation.

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