Jaffna port workers complain of mismanagement

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 March 2008, 00:08 GMT]
The lack of interest by government officials in the North in paying wages in time to workers involved in unloading of goods in the sea ports of Jaffna in a timely manner has resulted in frequent disruption in unloading of loads from the cargo ships, civil sources in Jaffna said.

After the eruption of clashes between SLA and LTTE in 2006, the essential supplies and consumer goods for the general population in Jaffna arrive by cargo ships who unload their goods in the harbours in the peninsula. Three sea ports, Point Pedro, Kankesanturai, and Mayiliddi, were initially used by these ships but recently Point Pedro port has been closed for cargo ships.

The workers who are allowed to reach these two sea ports located in High Security Zone (HSZ) jointly controlled by SLA and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) have complained that their grievances are not being addressed and they unable to perform their work due to the unsatisfactory working conditions, spokesperson for fishermen said.

Fishing restrictions by SLA last few years drove many fishermen to seek to employment as laborers in the ports to earn a living. However, many workers affiliated to the Fishermen Federation in Kurunagar quit work recently due to the lethargic attitude by officials in paying the workers timely.

The workers who remain continue to work long hours to coverup for the shortage. Their woes are further worsened by difficulties they face in taking time off to visit their families, workers complain.


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