KOCHI: Container truck drivers affiliated to Private Motor Workers’ Union (AITUC) will launch an indefinite strike on January 22, protesting the move to withdraw the pool system for scanning trucks at the Vallarpadam container terminal, said union general secretary Joy Joseph on Wednesday.
“Under the pool system, drivers wearing radiation-resistant gear used to take container lorries through the scanning cabin. The designated drivers had to take over the lorry once it reached the Customs area and take it through the cabin. Now, the authorities are planning to reintroduce the drive-through system. Besides, they are charging `1,000 per truck for parking on the premises for more than four hours, which is burdening us,” said Joy Joseph.
He said the drive-through scanning system, which exposed the drivers to radiation, was withdrawn last year following a strike launched by the drivers union and truck owners. The system posed a health risk to drivers and 17 drivers had to seek medical treatment due to the ill effects of scanning, he said.
Representatives of the union will meet regional joint labour commissioner on Thursday to press their demand.
“We will request the cooperation of other unions to launch a joint strike,” he said.