By Colleen Barilae – EM TV News, Lae
Lae Maritime workers are in serious discussions with the Morobe Provincial Government over the possibility of losing their stake in the stevedoring services of the Lae Ports.
It comes following the government’s move to shift control of operations to foreign investors.
A meeting was held today amongst Labu and Ahi landowners who have over the years relied on the ports stevedoring for employment opportunities.
The workers gathered today joined senior statesmen including former Morobe Premier Sir Jerry Nalau; Former Markham MP, Andrew Baing and Morobe Governor Kelly Naru to address the possibility of losing their jobs.
After learning that the government will be shifting ownership of Lae’s ports stevedoring operations to other foreign investors. They now have taken action.
Lae Port Industry has provided employment opportunities to more than 1,000 national workers over the years.
The current situation has caused fear amongst these Lae port workers, who feel threatened of losing their jobs when the ownership changes.
The former Markham MP Andrew Baing who was part of the Government that created a Nationalisation to enable Papua New Guineans to own a 51% share in this business.
“Not only for the Ahi people but Papua New Guineans all through out the country who are now benefiting from this policy of 51 49, and I do hope that the Prime Minister and Ben Micah, Minister for State Enterprises will understand an act in the very best interest of Papua New Guineans and to ensure that we control the economy,” Mr. Baing said.
This isn’t the first time that the Lae Ports has come under the spotlight.
Debates have been on going since 2013 when government tried to make changes to how landowner companies participated in the ports operations.