Wharfies stop work over stevedoring deals

Port Moresby stevedoring workers will stop work starting today until the National Government receives their petition.

Armed with banners of stop work, the workers lead by the Maritime Union President Alex Rawali turned up  at the Port Moresby wharf gate this morning to show their intention.     

Their disagreement is similar to their striking counterparts in Lae, Morobe Province where they want PNG Port and the Government to relook at the tender process of awarding stevedoring businesses in two of the nation’s busiest ports.   

After the ending of the tender process four international companies have been shortlisted for the process.             

Mr Rawali said they had asked PNG Ports and State Enterprise Minister Ben Micah to look again at their shortlisting of four international companies but this had fallen on deaf ears.   

“Our concern has been transmitted to the government, PNG Ports and IPBC (Kumul Consolidated Holdings). We don’t want to be a pushover.  

“On the waterfront here, we have landowner content here, we have had partnership with foreign entity for the last 15 years.

“With the stroke of a pen they want to throw that away,” Rawali said.

If Minister Micah does not receive their petition by the end of this week, “drastic measures will be taken”, said Rawali.

He declined to comment on the measures the union have up their sleeves.

Photo: Pictured are wharf workers with their banners this morning at around the ports and harbour area, downtown Port Moresby.

Charles Yapumi