It was agreed to maintain an active dialogue in order to take into account the workers’ concerns.
On Thursday 04 October, the port of Yuzhny hosted a meeting of the working collective of the state enterprise (SE) Sea Trade Port Yuzhny planned to be handed over to an investor on the concession basis, with Head of Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA) along with representatives of Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine.
In the course of the meeting the STP concession preparation issues were touched, as well as the project of access canal dredging for SE’s berths down to 20-21 m, and expedience of inner canal to the berths of TIS dredging down to 19 m.
As advised by USPA, the SE workers expressed their fears towards the TIS terminals approach canal deepened resulting in transition of the public company’s cargoes to the competition. Head of USPA Raivis Veckagans responded stressing that USPA strived for developing port infrastructure and securing equal opportunities to all stevedores regardless of their form of ownership. The parties agreed to conduct the analysis of Yuzhny port harbour cargo flows, tariffs and port dues rates.
As informed the MIU officials at the meeting, a pre-feasibility study for the Yuzhny port concession project was expected soon. The document is to be analysed, considered by all the stakeholders, and then a full FS development will be started.
“We understand concern of the workforce with regarding the considered possibility of its transfer to the future concession enterprise and retention of the jobs. To make the working process on the concession project most transparent, the port management and trade unions are embodied to and will certainly participate in the FS development working group sessions. Your active stance would maximally take into account the working collective’s interests while analysing the concession project efficacy”, declared Head of USPA Raivis Veckagans.
He promised that the decision about the STP concession expedience will be taken only in case if the scenarios offered by international experts display that the project is advantageous for the state, promotes the development of SE, and ensures compliance with social guarantees for the labour.
Mr Veckagans also noted that the public stevedores concession mechanism is going to be first worked out on pilot projects namely SE Olvia and Kherson STP. According to already approved and presented to potential investors FS of the pilot projects, a concessionaire shall undertake to prevent forced staff reductions in 5 years. For this period the collective bargaining agreement conditions cannot be deteriorated.
Summing up the meeting, the parties (MIU, USPA, STP Yuzhny working collective) agreed to maintain their active dialogue.