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Naval help sought to normalise operations at Cochin Port

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, Mar 17 (UNI) A section of the workers at the Cochin Port continued their strike for the second day today even as the port authorities enlisted the help of naval personnel to normalise mooring operations at the port.

At least two passenger ships from Lakshadweep, which were stranded at the port mouth for several hours yesterday, were finally brought into the port late last night, ending the day-long ordeal for hundreds of passengers.

''All efforts are being made to normalise the ship movements today with the help of naval personnel. Both the inward and outward movement of vessels is being normalised,'' a spokesman for the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) said.

The operations at the Cochin Port were affected yesterday as a section of the workers, spearheaded by the Cochin Port Staff Association (CPSA), went on a lightning strike to protest against the suspension of five of their colleagues.

Among those suspended were the general secretary of the union and three secretaries. According to the CPT spokesman, the five were suspended for indulging in union activities during office hours and within office premises.

The union has decided not to resume work till the five suspended employees are reinstated. The CPT authorities have so far however not invited the union leaders for any talks, maintaining that there is no just cause for their action.

The Cochin Port Staff Association (CPSA) is among the largest of the 11 unions operating in the port. A CPSA release said that it had launched the strike against the ''denial of trade union rights by the port trust authorities.'' It accused the CPT authorities of adopting a ''dictatorial attitude''.

UNI ARC VV SB DS1315

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