CPT urges workers to call off strike

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

The issue on which a section of the workers struck work, paralysing operations at the Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal, 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 notional bookings of gangmen be carried out, as per the 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 paralysing the entire port?'' the authorities asked.

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 they adversely affected port operations, its financial position and reputation.

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


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