Container strike at Vallarpadam ends

Marginal increase in wages agreed upon.

KOCHI: The five-day-old container lorry drivers’ strike at Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) was called off on Tuesday following an agreement reached at the talks convened by the Labour Commissioner with the Cochin Port Trust officials, container lorry owners and trade union leaders in the state capital.

As per the agreement, the wages of drivers of 40-ft containers will be increased from Rs 840 to Rs 1,050 and that of 20-ft containers from Rs 648 to Rs 850. The drivers of long-distance trucks will get a five percent incentive.

Another major issue of contention of standardizing the container lorry rent was referred to NATPAC, which has been asked to prepare a draft report for the same in three months. Based on the recommendations in the report, discussions will be held again to fix the wages of the drivers.

Another major issue of giving parking lot to the container lorries was solved earlier. As per this, the lorries will be allowed to park near the LNG terminal at Puthuvype. According to a CPT official, the lorries are not making full use of the already allotted parking lots at Willingdon Island and Bolghatty which were given by CPT and the demand for a fresh plot has been raised despite this situation.

He said that the five-day strike had caused enormous financial loss to the stakeholders. “One container lorry can charge Rs 20,000 and 5,000 lorries would have operated in these five days. So, one can imagine the loss caused to all, including those who called the strike,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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