Sri Lanka port to resume operations; dock workers given ultimatum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port will resume full operations on December 15, with striking dockworkers given until December 15 to return to work, Ports Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said.

A ship is due to enter the port later on December 14, Ranatunga told reporters.

Hambantota is used as a vehicle transhipment point by India based vehicle exporters.

Dockworkers held a Japanese vessel, which was ‘freed’ by the Sri Lanka Navy earlier this week.

The action by Dockworkers made the shipping community wary, and the port’s risk rating could be raised by insurers, Ranatunga said.

Dockworkers who do not report to work by 1400 hours on Thursday, will be considered to have vacated their posts, he said.

Hambantota Port was run by Magampura Port Management Company, one of the many state enterprises set up under Sri Lanka’s company’s act by the last administration.

The firm employed about 482 persons, Ranatunga said.

The firm is a 100 percent owned unit of Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Striking workers wanted to be employed by the SLPA, where remarkable salaries, running into a 1000 US dollars or more are sometimes paid to minor workers. (Colombo/Dec14/2016)





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