NMPT workers' strike hits container traffic

Many vessels diverted; Another round of discussion between Port, unions today


Presently there are 7 vessels in the Port, of which 3 vessels are idling due to strike by the cargo handling workers. As many as 17 vessels are waiting at the outer anchorage for berthing. Six vessels, including two iron ore vessels got diverted to other ports.

In a press release, the Traffic manager of the port has stated that container traffic will be shifted to the neighbouring ports if the strike goes on in the present manner, which makes the marketing efforts made by the port management go in vain. Discussions were held with the trade unions directly by the Port management and also by the ALC(C), Mangalore. Even the President of Kanara Chamber of Commerce tried to mediate, but none bore fruit as the unions are rigid in their demand and not prepared to accept the manning scale as per the Award of National Industrial Tribunal and also not coming up with their proposals, the release said. However, the Port will hold another discussion with the Unions on August 8.

‘Wrong signals’

In a separate release, Mangalore Port Stevedores’ Association President Shekar Poojari said that the diversion of vessels sends wrong signal to world trade as well as import/export trade in India. The Association has appealed to the NMPT workers and union leaders to submit their proposal to the Port management or Assistant Labour Commissioner since National Industrial Tribunal award has scope for local adjustment. “Sit across the negotiation table and settle the issue amicably,” Poojari appealed.

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