Trade bodies decry strike at Kochi port

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on February 08, 2011

Expressing concern over the ongoing strike at Kochi Port, trade bodies said that they had suffered a loss of around Rs 400 crore in the export-import business on account of the eight-day stalemate.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, chairmen of various chambers of commerce and industry and the Steamer Agents Association said the strike had resulted in the diversion of 30-35 per cent cargo to neighbouring ports thereby putting the export sector in Kochi in crisis. Shipments of various items of Kerala origin have been affected.

Not a single vessel has moved out of the terminal since the strike began February 1 midnight.

Negative signals

The industry leaders said the demands of the striking unions were unreasonable and the port management and steamer agents had given an assurance to protect the rights of labourers by rehabilitating them.

At a time when the prestigious Vallarpadam Container Terminal was slated for inauguration on Friday by the Prime Minister, strikes would send the wrong signals to prospective investors, they said.

As many as five container vessels and a vessel laden with wooden logs are waiting at the outer channel due to the strike and this would seriously affect the business-friendly image of the port.

Published on February 08, 2011

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