Government engages world-class operator to provide port services


The Government decided to bring in a world-class operator to provide stevedoring services to the ports in Port Moresby and Lae, Minister for Public Enterprise and State Investments William Duma says.
Responding to questions about a recent stop-work action by port workers in the Port Moresby and Lae, Duma told The National, that in the agreement that PNG Ports Corporation signed with the Philippines Stevedoring company, the operator agreed to employ those employed by the current companies.
“The operator has agreed to give first preference to national workers and if there is a need then bring in the outsiders. That’s part of the agreement we have signed,” Duma said.
“We are very sensitive about this and we made it a condition that they can come in but they give first priority to the national and they have been told by the PNG Ports.”
Duma said the Philippines Company operated in many parts of the world and currently was operating in Melbourne, Australia.
Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) was recently awarded the contract to provide port services at the country’s major ports.
Members of the union in Port Moresby and Lae took industrial action last week against the Government’s failure to address its members’ concerns of job security and maintenance of award employment conditions.
The unions claimed that the Government and PNG Ports Corporation had remained silent since 2015 on the future of the workforce’s employment when ICTSI started operations in both ports in the first week of January.
Duma said the company met the requirements and was engaged.
According to the company, the terminal operating agreements were signed on July 31 by its PNG subsidiaries, Motukea International Terminal Limited (MITL) and South Pacific International Container Terminal Limited (SPICTL), with Ports Corporation Limited responsible for the management and development of the two ports.
The agreements and other related contracts will take effect after all the parties have complied with conditions.
The MITL will provide and deploy cranes, berths and yard equipment for the Motukea Port.
The SPICTL will provide and deploy cranes, berths and yard equipment at the Lae port.