The strike by trailer crew at Kochi Port demanding wage revision, which completed its 11th day on Thursday, was called off following the intervention by the State Government.

It was decided to hike the portion of lorry rent given to the drivers and cleaners. From eight per cent and 4 per cent, the proportion has been increased to 10.5 per cent and 5.25 per cent respectively.

The new rates will remain unchanged for the next 10 years. The trailer owners pointed out that each crew will get an additional hike of 31.25 per cent in their “bata” with the new rates comes into effect.

The meeting convened by Labour and Port Ministers in Thiruvananthapuram also finalised a 20 per cent hike in other benefits. The term of the agreement will be for two years and it will come into effect from March 1.

Those who attended the meeting included trailer owners, trade union representatives and senior officials of Cochin Port Trust.

The strike, which began on February 4, had virtually paralysed day-to-day operations at ICTT Vallarpadam affecting the movement of cargo to and from the terminal. This has resulted in piling up of containers, which went up to nearly 7,200 teus.

DP World officials said here that the company has taken steps to evacuate the cargo held up in the terminal due to the strike. In order to accommodate the trade to get their pending shipments cleared, the company is now permitting acceptance of containers up to the sailing of the vessel instead of six hour prior cut off.

Besides, all the six gates are operational for the smooth movement of cargo to and from the terminal in order to avoid any further congestion. With this, the company expects to clear the piled up cargo at the shortest possible time frame, the officials added.

(This article was published on February 15, 2013)
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