Kochi, Apr 2 (UNI) The strike by container lorry workers, which has paralysed the movement of cargo to and from Cochin Port, entered the second week today as the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh stuck to its stand not to withdraw the stir till the lorry owners sign a revised wage agreement.
''We will intensify the stir. The office of the Cochin Port will be picketed tomorrow. We will not withdraw from the strike till our demands are met,'' BMS leaders told UNI here this evening.
However, they said that BMS Ernakulam District president M M Ramesh and Secretary T S Satyan will take part tomorrow in the conciliatory talks initiated by the district labour officer on Saturday to resolve the impasse.
The strike, which hampered year-end cargo traffic through Cochin Port, has caused considerable hardship to the exim trade with exporters being forced to divert their cosignments to other ports, such as Chennai and Tuticorin, to meet their deadlines.
In a statement here, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Balagopala B Pai appealed for an early resolution of the stir. At a time when the Cochin Port was poised for a tremendous growth, any move hampering the smooth flow of cargo at the port should be avoided, he added.
The Cochin Port handles nearly 1,500 in-bound and out-bound containers every day.
While five unions, including CITU, had pulled out of the strike on the condition that an agreement be reached by April 15, the BMS has refused to withdraw the agitation till an agreement was signed.
UNI ARC GM VD PC2017