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Syrian Workers Protest Against Russian Operator at Tartus Port

Syrian Workers Protest Against Russian Operator at Tartus Port

Tuesday, 7 July, 2020 - 08:30
The Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov in the Syrian port of Tartus (EPA)

Syrian workers at the Tartus port accused the operating Russian company of violating their contract, saying they refused to receive their wages due to lack of “receipts” for workers' salaries since the company took over the port.

The 2,500 workers complained that the Russian operator had breached the contracts, adding that many have had several issues with their agreements for over three months.

Al-Watan newspaper reported that a number of workers accused the company of reducing the value of the meal they were offered from SYP700 to SYP100, and even deprived some of the workers of it.

The daily indicated that since the beginning of the month, the situation at the financial bureau has been chaotic due to the slow payment of salaries.

Head of the port workers’ union, Fouad Harba, accused the Russian company of not committing to "the full terms of the contract."

The investment contracts signed by the Syrian regime with the Russian side were concluded with Russian companies and not with government agencies.

The Syrian People’s Assembly approved the draft law that includes leasing Tartus Port to Stroytransgaz for 49 years through the local Sada company.

The Russian company managing the port did not meet the terms of the contract, as it has not yet paid insurance dues to the Social Security (Taaminat), and deducted the amount due to the Real Estate Bank (REB).

However, since it started operating the port, it has not transferred those dues to the Bank and sources indicated that the problem of the workers is that they get paid from the Russian company, while their contracts are signed with Sada.

The contract signed with the Russian company does not require paying the wages of all workers, knowing that the average salary at the port with incentives and bonuses does not exceed SYP75,000.

The Russian company had tried to reduce the salary by granting SYP40,000 pounds, but the workers protested at the port about three months ago.

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