BMS calls off strike following agreement

via Pioneer News Service / Kochi published on April 4, 2006
























































Container trailer workers belonging to the Baratiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) had called off the strike at the Cochin Port, following an agreement made in the presence of the Regional Joint Labour Commissioner MT Narayanan on Monday.

During discussions it was agreed that the revised pay scales would be implemented immediately. The interim relief payable to the workers would also be declared on Thursday.

It was also agreed to discuss and take action on the charter of demands raised by the union within 20 days.

According to the agreement an additional detention charge of Rs 100 and Rs 50 would be given to drivers and cleaners respectively, for delay in pre-stage area beyond five hours.

The conditions made in the agreement arrived at in the year 2003 in respect of service benefits for drivers and cleaners, which is valid up to 2005, would be implemented by all owners till a new settlement is made.

CCCOWA also agreed that there would not be any vindictive action against the workers involved in the strike.

“All the members who had joined the strike will join duty from Tuesday. It should be noted that though the other unions backed away from the strike, the workers of those unions did not join service,” said BMS district president, MM Ramesh.

The meeting presided over by the labour commissioner was attended by the representatives of the union and the Cochin Container Carriers Owners Welfare Association (CCCOWA).

The officials of the Cochin Port Trust and Dubai Port International were also present for the discussions.

BMS had decided to go ahead with the strike, while the CITU, INTUC and CTTU withdrew from the strike on the basis on an agreement with CCCOWA.

Having gone it alone, BMS leaders pointed out that the agreement signed by the other unions had betrayed the workers.

The strike had brought the Cochin Port to a stand still for eight days, totally disrupting the container movement from the port. As the Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal was filled with containers unloaded from the ships, five ships had to anchor in the deep-sea waiting for entry to the port.

Due to the prevailing situation at the port many shipping companies and exporters had transferred their goods to the ports in Mangalore, Tutukudi and Chennai

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