Three-day-old strike at Cochin Port called off

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Kochi, Nov 29 (UNI) The three-day-old strike that had paralysed the working of Cochin Port was called off this evening following an appeal by Union Shipping Minister T R Baalu to the striking trade unions to return to work.

General Secretary of the Joint Forum of Trade Unions of the Cochin Port Thomas Sebastian said the strike was being called off with immediate effect following an assurance from the Union Minister that all their grievances would be looked into.

''We will return to work tonight itself,'' he added.

Earlier, Mr Baalu had said in New Delhi that efforts would be made to resolve all issues through mutual discussions. Accordingly, a meeting of the trade union representatives has been called by Cochin Port Trust Chairman N Ramachandran on Saturday afternoon.

The port workers struck work on Tuesday evening, the second time this month, to protest against the non-deployment of gangmen for unloading operations at the inland container depot (ICD) of the Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal at the port.

The container terminal is operated by IGTPL, a subsidiary of Dubai Ports World, which had won the bid to build and operate the upcoming Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal.

The IGTPL contends that there is no work for manual labour as the unloading operations have been automated.

Representatives of the IGTPL would also attend Saturday's meeting, a spokesperson for CPT said.


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