Cargo operation hit as stevedore workers launch cease-work strike in Paradip Port

Paradip: Cargo handling operations at Paradip port was affected after workers engaged in various stevedoring agencies launched a cease-work strike today.

The stevedore workers have resorted to agitation demanding fulfillment of their 13-point charter of demands including change of designation from ‘helper’ to ‘operator’.

The agitating workers rued that despite working for several years, the company has not raised their salaries.”Despite being employed as ‘helpers’ we have been undertaking all tasks meant for operators. However our salaries have not been raised,” a worker complained

As many as 14 vessels remained stranded as 1,500 helpers, supervisors and operators of various stevedoring agencies stopped loading and unloading of cargo in the port in view of the strike, informed sources.

On the other hand, the port authorities refused to interfere in the matter stating that the various contractual labourers and workers involved in the strike work under the Paradip Port Stevedoring Association and the latter will resolve the matter through negotiation.

The Stevedore body had called the agitating workers for a meeting when last reports came in.

Earlier in March this year, 2,500 workers engaged by various stevedoring agencies staged protest against illegal transfer of their collegues who were demanding eight hours of work. The agitators called off their stir after discussions with the officials of Paradip Port Trust (PPT).