As the Emirati international ports operator starts contractual obligations at the main Somaliland port with massive salary cuts
By: Yusuf.M Hasan
Somalilandsun- The 30 years Dubai Ports World contract to managed the main Somaliland port of Berbera has started in the wrong foot.
This follows demonstrations by port workers in protest against new salary scales put in place by DP World in which the employees termed as lower than what thy used to earn under former management, that is the government of Somaliland.
DP World started its over $400m contractual obligation earlier in the month with as expected staff realignment seemingly now also touching on salary scales which the government had promised will not occur once it hands over its mandate to the global Emiratis firm.
According to Berbera based saaxilnews the aggrieved staff downed tools in the morning of Sunday and subsequently started demonstrating inside the port perimeter where they also burned Dap world flags.
Having placed the entire port out of operations the protesting workers shouting anti-DP World slogans also defied police orders to vacate the port thence the firing of live bullets.
Upon finally vacating the port the hundreds of demonstrators entered the town proper and proceeded to the Sahil regional governor’s office where they presented their grievances while shouting slogans like We want to live, we want to eat. We cannot live with meager salary”
Prior to taking over and contrary to promises by the state DP world an international Potts operator laid off over hundred London term Berbera port workers.
Apart from the Burned Dap World flags he demonstrators also burned large quantities of used tyres during their sojourn to the governors office.
While the government is yet to comment on the disturbances, it is not clear how the Emirati firm shall manage to undertake its contractual obligations if it’s strategies differ completely from those initially informed to both the workers and the nation during the administrations campaign for the deal acceptance.