Port workers resent cargo diversion

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Kakinada, Nov 02 (UNI) The HMS led Kakinada port steel barges workers union today expressed its strong resentment over the diversion of cargos from the anchorage port to the privatized Deep water port.

Addressing a press conference here, Union President Vanamadi Veerababu and Secretary Malladi Raju alleged that the traditional cargos such as clincker, iron ore, wheat, sugar and fertilzers were getting diverted to the deep water port with the tacit support of the port department under political pressures, despite strong objections by the anchorage port workers.

They also objected to the intervention of local MLA Mutha Gopalakrishna in diversion of work due to them in the deep water port.

Basing on the numerous representations from the port workers, the Andhra President government had issued a memo on October 13, restoring the fertilzers handling at the Anchorage port. But much to the dismay of workers, the memo was revised by the government within five days, and on October 18 the government ordered that the fertilizers be handled at the deep water port only, they said.

However, the government provided the much needed solace to the anchorage port workers giving them the right to unload the entire fertilizers so diverted at the Deep water port.

They said the anchorage port workers have reluctantly agreed to diversion of fertilizers and started attending to the work at the deep water port.

While they were discharging fertilisers from the shipMV Dongzin' last week, the workers were asked to stop working advising them to share the work with their rivals -the Vinayaka deep water port workers union, the trade union leaders alleged.

It was not acceptable to the anchorage workers as they said it was against the government order and also to the agreement reached with the Cocanada Chamber of Commerce in the presence of police and Revenue authorities.

Charging the local MLA Mutha Gopalakrishna for intervening in the workers affair and insisting that ten per cent work should be allotted to the Vinayaka deep water port workers union, the leader said that they would not accept such arrangement but prefer to fight it tooth and nail.

Threatening that the anchorage port workers around 6,000 would resort to a hunger strike stir en masse to protect their interests, they urged the government to intervene and save the anchorage port workers from distress.

UNI XR/BR ROY ADB2008

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