PARADIP: Hundreds of workers including operators, supervisors, loaders and helpers who have been pressed into service for operation of JCBs, pay loader and Haiwa for cargo operation in Paradip sat on a dharna at the port area demanding fulfilment of their demands.
Cargo operation in the area was paralysed due to the stir. Nearly 2,500 workers, operators, supervisors, loaders and helpers are working under different stevedoring agencies in the port area. They were engaged for cargo operation in Paradip port. Most of the workers allege that they are not getting their salary as per the industrial law.
The workers’ demands include minimum salary of ` 18,000 per month, safety materials, uniform, deduction and payment of salary every month, EPF and ESI facilities and others. The workers said they have raised their demands with the stevedoring agencies but were threatened with dire consequences including threat of termination of jobs.The workers added that the stevedoring agencies have threatened not to form unions and even tortured some workers physically and mentally.
It may be recalled that in August 2017, thousands of drivers and helpers who have been pressed into service for loading and unloading of cargo in Paradip port had intensified their stir demanding eight hours of work instead of the 12 to 16 hour schedule. Their demand was fulfilled with the intervention of Paradip Port Trust. However, the rest of the demands are yet to be fulfilled.
Meanwhile, Paradip Port Stevedores Association and other contract agencies assured to resolve the issues of the workers through a tripartite discussion scheduled on June 16 following which the workers called of their stir on Tuesday afternoon.