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Dubai World Shuts Down Egypt's Ain Sokhna Port

Source: Ahram Online 9/23/2011, Location: Africa

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DP World says strikes have cost it LE30 million in lost revenue as workers demand better pay and conditions and dismissal of managers accused of mistreatment.

Dubai's port operator, DP World, shut down its Ain Sokhna port in Egypt on Thursday due to labour strikes that have cost it about 30 million Egyptian pounds ($5.02 million) in lost revenue, an official at the Red Sea port authority said.

Workers began their strike on Tuesday to press for hardship allowances, wage restructuring and the dismissal of managers accused of mistreatment, the official said.

Military officers and police started clearing the port buildings of workers and proceeded to shut it down pending further instructions, the official added.

The port's workers staged a major strike back in May, but agreed to end it after the company's management promised it would meet their demands, according to some news sources.

Sokhna, near the southern end of the Suez Canal, is Cairo's main port for cargo from the Far East.

It employs around 1,200 permanent and 4,000 temporary workers.

DP World is one of the more profitable assets of debt-laden Dubai World. The port operator is the world's third largest and is 80-percent-owned by the state-linked conglomerate.

The firm suspended terminal operations at its Egyptian facility as a precautionary measure during the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.

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