Khartoum - Workers at Port Sudan’s southern container terminal went on strike on Monday to protest against a deal with Philippine port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), port employees and a union official said. Witnesses in Port Sudan said work at the terminal had been suspended since the morning because of the strike, which was timed to coincide with a visit by the Sudanese prime minister aimed at resolving opposition to the deal. “Today with the prime minister’s visit all the workers in the container terminal in Port Sudan’s port carried out a full strike,” said Othman Taher, head of an opposition trade union. “They numbered 1,800 workers.”
“Our message and our demand to the government is to refuse the privatisation and cancel the contract with the Philippine company to protect the country’s resources.” On Jan. 3 ICTSI subsidiary ICTSI Middle East DMCC signed a 20-year concession deal with the Sea Ports Corporation of Sudan (SPC) to operate, manage and develop the South Port Container Terminal at Port Sudan, a disclosure from the company said. The transfer of facilities would take place in the first quarter of this year, it said, adding that the terminal has a capacity of more than 1 million TEU, the standard unit for shipping container size. ICTSI could not immediately be reached for comment.