Aden’s port operator refuses wage increases [Archives:2006/957/Letters to the Editor]

June 22 2006

S .A. Salem
[email protected]

I am a Yemeni employee at the Aden container terminal. I would like to disclose the violations committed against Yemeni employees by the sham company running the port, Overseas Port Management (OPM) and the complicity of government officials.

When I say that OPM is a sham, I say this because OPM's current managers were employees with the former company, Port of Singapore (PSA), which operated the terminal. Our major problem with OPM lies in the stagnant wages they pay. Our wages are at the same level that they were seven years ago, excepting the annual increase of 900 YR.

In spite of the rise of oil exports last year, our wages have not increased even though wages in the public and private sectors have done so. Employees feel angry because OPM has realized it can buy influential government officials with a bunch some qat.

We tried to form a workers syndicate to defend our rights. OPM responded by informing security forces in Aden's free zone who accused us of being secessionists. What a fine example of the lack of rights in this country.