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Strike hits Algerian ports, oil not affected

Reuters, Sunday 16 February 2003, 12:19 pm ET

ALGIERS, Feb 16 (Reuters) - About 15,000 Algerian port workers staged a one-day strike on Sunday to protest at privatisation plans, paralysing the country’s main ports although oil exports were not hit, trade union officials said.

Oil and gas export ports were not included in the strike, said an official from the main trade union UGTA, which led the protest in the North African country’s 10 commercial ports.

Traffic was expected to return to normal on Monday.

Union officials said they feared government proposals to privatise ports would lead to layoffs and less job security.

The government denies its plan would cause job losses. There is no reason to talk about cutting jobs. We want gradual reforms in the ports to prepare them for modern management and competition, a government official said.