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Container carrier owners’ strike sends wrong message, say traders

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 | 00:00

An indefinite strike launched by container carrier owners demanding sufficient space for parking carriers in Kochi sends the wrong message regarding the business environment at the Cochin port, warned trade and industry here on Sunday.

The strike was launched on Saturday following police action against lorries parked along the Container Road linking Kalamassery and the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam.

Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Madhusudan Gupta called on the State government to step in immediately to mediate as prolonging the strike would send the wrong message to trade and industry both inside and outside the State.

Container Carrier Owners’ Welfare Association secretary K.J. Joy said they were forced to resort to a strike as there was no space at all for parking the container carriers. The police action and the closing of the parking space in the area leading up to the LNG terminal had created a crisis-like situation, he said. He claimed that the LNG terminal area had space for parking around 400 container lorries.

The movement of goods to and from the container terminal has stopped totally after the strike began on Saturday evening. The situation was not good as Cochin port was already known for high cost of transactions, said Mr. Gupta, who recalled that in May the trailer crew and drivers had gone on a boycott of the scanner being used to examine container cargo at the terminal.

The strike was withdrawn after an agreement was reached that a pool of drivers in special gear would be utilised to take containers through the drive-in scanner. The container lorry operators were entrusted with the task of making payments to the pool of drivers involved in the work at the scanning facility.

The convenor of the Trade Union Coordination Committee said the container owners and crew were forced to launch the strike as they had no space to park the lorries and carriers following the closing of the LNG terminal area and police action on lorries parked along the Container Road on Saturday. He called on the State authorities to implement the promise to open up 10 acres of space within the ICTT area after denotification for parking of the container lorries and carriers.
Source: The Hindu

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