Mrunal Manmay Dash

Hundreds of labourers of Paradip Port staged dharna in front of the Paradip International Cargo Terminal (PICT) gate on Saturday demanding pending salary and reinstatement of laid-off employees among others.

The labourers under the banner of Paradip Port Labourers Union sat in front of the gate with their children. The agitation came ahead of President Droupadi Murmu’s Paradip visit on Sunday causing headache for the police department.

It is pertinent to mention here that they have been protesting by sitting on the side of the road for the last three days. But on Saturday, they sat in front of the PICT in a bid to intensify their protest after the port authorities allegedly did not pay heed to their demands.

Some of their major demands included reinstatement of laid-off labourers and employees, paying them their pending salary and payment of bonus.

“We have a ten-point demand. We will not call off the strike until the port authority fulfils them. Other associations including the drivers association have also extended their support to us. They will join our protest in days to come,” said Bikram Kumar Singh, a protester.

They have also threatened to continue the strike until their demands are met.

Till the last report came in, the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) had called a meeting at his office where the port authorities and the labour union representatives were present for discussion to reach an agreement.

On the other hand, police force has been deployed at the site in view of the President’s visit tomorrow.

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