Boxes pile up at Cosco Pacific`s strike-plagued Greek CT

Time:2009-11-12 Browse:15 Author:RISINGSUN

AN extended dock strike against Hong Kong`s Cosco Pacific terminal at Piraeus, Greece, has resulted in a pile up of thousands of shipping containers and 4,500 TEU that cannot be discharged.
The union told dockers to stay off the job at the country`s biggest port for another 48 hours to add pressure on the recently elected leftist national government to put in job security clauses in Cosco`s 35-year concession deal.
The three container berths have been brought to a standstill as boxes pile up ready for shipment, reports Newark`s Journal of Commerce. The strike has sparked fears of consumer good shortages as Christmas approaches, especially if the on-again off again strikes continue.
The socialist government said it would fulfil its pre-election promise to re-negotiate the Cosco Pacific deal with to the aim of to winning job security provisions.
But at the same time Shipping Minister Louka Katseli said she could not cancel the contract, but instead pledged to work for job security assurances from the company.
Cosco Pacific, the world`s fifth largest container terminal operator, will pay US$5 billion for 35-year deal and invest $350 million to upgrade facilities. The company plans to boost the terminal`s capacity to 3.7 million TEU a year and make it a distribution hub for southeast Europe.