CPT management urges workers to call off strike

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Kochi, Nov 28 (UNI) Describing the lightning strike by a section of Cochin Port workers since yesterday as ''unjustifiable'', the port authorities today urged the workers to restore normalcy, especially in view of the poor financial position of the port.

The issue on which a section of the workers struck work yesterday, paralysing the operations at the Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal at the port, relates to the handling of automatic ICD container rakes which come rarely.

While the India Gateways Terminal Pvt. Ltd. (IGTPL), which operates the container terminal, has taken the stand that there was no need to book workers for cargo handling at the ICD container rakes with automatic locking devices, the unions insist that notional bookings of gangmen be carried out, as per a 1984 agreement.

According to the port authorities, in any case, the wages of the workers were protected, irrespecitve of whether they were engaged at the ICD container or not.

''Is this such a major issue that warrants paralyzing the entire port,'' the authorities said.

They urged the workers to settle the difference of opinion on the issue through discussions or a decision of the labour court.

Lightning strikes on this issue, the second in a month, were not justifiable as these adversely affect the port operations, its financial position and reputation.

The authorities pointed out that Cochin Port was at the bottom of productivity compared to other major ports and its financial health, which was already poor, would be further hit by the operationalising of the single point mooring of BPCC-KRL this week. UNI

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