Middle East

Striking Port Sudan workers play hardball with gov’t

Khartoum has leased port operations to Philippines-based firm for 20-year period

Ekip   | 20.02.2019
Striking Port Sudan workers play hardball with gov’t

Sudan

KHARTOUM

Striking workers at Port Sudan, a Red Sea port in eastern Sudan, are refusing to meet with members of a government delegation to discuss their grievances.

On Monday, port workers declared a strike to protest a leasing deal recently signed by the government that would, if implemented, allow a foreign company to assume responsibility for the port’s operations.

The following day, a high-level government delegation -- that included the Sudanese transport minister -- arrived in Port Sudan to discuss workers’ demands.

Strike leaders, however, have so far refused to meet with members of the delegation.

"We reject any notion of giving up port operations to a foreign company," Aboud al-Sherbini, a spokesman for the striking workers, told Anadolu Agency.

“We will not surrender our rights as workers,” he said. “And the government should firmly support us in this regard.”

Khartoum, for its part, has yet to officially comment on the striking workers’ assertions.

The Sudanese government recently signed a concession contract with the Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services Company allowing the latter to operate the port for a 20-year period.

Located on the country’s eastern coast, Port Sudan is the provincial capital of Sudan’s Red Sea State.

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