Court may order mediation on strike issue

K. C. Gopakumar Kochi | Updated on February 08, 2011 Published on February 07, 2011

The Kerala High Court on Monday observed that if the conciliation talks to end the strike by a section of the workers at the Cochin Port Trust failed, it would consider referring the issue to the Kerala Mediation Centre.

Mr Justice P.N. Ravindran, therefore, directed all the stakeholders including the Central Joint Labour Commissioner to appear before the court on February 9 if the talks failed to resolve the strike.

The Mediation Centre was set up by the High Court for resolving disputes out of court.

The order was passed when a writ petition filed by the Seafood Exporters Association of India and Mangala Seafood Exim Private Ltd came up for hearing before the court. They sought a directive to the Cochin Port Trust to immediately dispatch the 129 containers of marine/seafood products lying in the dock due to the strike by a section of the employees of the Steamer Agents Association and United Stevedores Association.

The petitioners pointed out that the workers went on a strike without giving advance notice. The strike had paralysed the functioning of the terminal at the port. The seafood sent by the producers to the terminal was still lying in the port. As many as 129 containers containing seafood worth Rs 39crore could not be loaded into the waiting ships due to the strike.

The petitioners also said that there was a possibility of the strike turning violent and striking employees indulging in sabotage. Therefore, the Port Trust authorities should reinforce the security of the dock by employing more CISF. The petitioners also sought a directive to the port to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the 129 containers of seafood.

The petition filed by Kitex Garments Ltd also came up for hearing on Monday.

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Published on February 07, 2011
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