PARADIP: The strike called by DLR and contractual workers of Paradip Port Trust (PPT) had no impact on cargo operation in Paradip Port as a majority of the employees refrained from participating in the agitation on Wednesday.
The members of Paradip Port DLR and Contractual Workers’ Association had threatened to intensify its stir from Wednesday over pay hike and permanent job demand. There are over 700 DLR and contractual workers employed in different departments of PPT. They have not been regularised despite 20 years of service. Protesting this, the workers had threatened to paralyse cargo operation in Paradip Port.
Apprehending law and order situation, PPT authorities had sought intervention of police and district administration and subsequently, prohibitory orders were clamped around the PPT main gate and four platoons of police force were deployed in the port area.
However, the workers sat on a mass dharna in front of PPT’s officers’ club instead of the main gate over their 10-point charter of demands that included minimum salary of `18,000 and benefits like free checkups in port hospital, accommodation, water and power facilities, besides regularisation of job.
Apparently, the port has four trade unions with DLR and contractual workers as their members. However, only members of Paradip Port DLR and Contractual Workers’ Association participated in the agitation along with their families. Workers under the other trade unions refrained from the mass dharna due to difference with the association and joined work.
Secretary of PPT, UR Mohan Raju said the agitation had no impact on cargo operations in Paradip Port as more than 60 per cent of DLR and contractual workers joined duty.
Sources said to resolve the long-pending demands of the 700 DLR and contractual workers, PPT had formed a seven-member committee headed by Deputy Chairman, N Vaiyapuri. The committee will submit a detailed report on the demands by September 15, which would be sent to the Union Shipping Ministry for consideration.
The decision of the committee will come to force from October 1 if approved by the Ministry.