PARADIP: Cargo operation in Paradip Port was paralysed for several hours on Monday due to protests by workers enrolled in the standby list demanding regularisation of jobs and payment of overtime dues.
The agitating workers, engaged in loading and unloading of cargo, launched their stir on Sunday night to press their demands. However, the protest was withdrawn after Odisha Stevedores Limited (OSL), the firm operating the port’s captive berth, assured to fulfill the demands on Monday afternoon.
Under Paradip Port Cargo Handling Workers’ (Regulation and Employment) Scheme, 1979, two lists of workers were prepared for movement of cargo in the port. Nearly 1500 workers were placed in the main list while another 800 workers were enrolled in the standby list.
Leader of the standby workers Rajendra Swain said OSL has refused to engage 28 workers for loading and unloading of cargo citing losses. “We had even urged OSL to provide work to 24 retired workers who had obtained their status to work. However, as OSL authorities refused to fulfill the demand, we were forced to stall cargo operation,” Swain added. The agitating workers were pacified after OSL authorities agreed to meet their demands.