Trade unions bat for reviving Cochin Port's lost glory

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on July 19, 2019 Published on July 19, 2019

Cochin Port Trust. File photo

The workers strength has come down to 1300 from 6800

The Cochin Port Joint Trade Union Forum, a combine of trade unions of all political affiliations, is gearing up for an agitation to revive the lost glory of the port and thereby create more job opportunities.

The Fourm is planning a token strike in October demanding new appointments, as the current ban on recruitment has impacted the day to day operations of the port. The workers strength has come down to 1300 from 6800 and the current workforce is finding immense difficulties in cargo handling due to rise in volumes by almost three times.

The Unions, in a statement issued here, pointed out that the shortage of workers had even led to ships skipping Cochin Port. Despite taking any steps to address the issue of shortage, the management is trying for retirement schemes to further reduce the employee strength.

The closure of the Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal had badly affected the port and even the present container terminal had not risen to the expectations of the port. Against the guaranteed throughput of 10 lakh TEUs per year, the ICTT is still handling with around six lakh TEUs of containers, the statement said.

Since there were no new projects for the port, the Trade Union Forum demanded diversification of the port’s business as well as setting up facilities to handle containerised cargo within the port itself.

According to port officials, they had discussions with the unions on the demands raised by them. The port was on the path of diversification and identifying new revenue streams. The Port Trust ended the financial year 2018-19 with a cargo throughput of over 32 million tonnes and operating surplus of more than Rs210 crore. The net profit also rose from Rs13.55 crore (2017-18) to Rs19.2 crore last year.

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Published on July 19, 2019
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