Discussions held by the Joint Labour Commissioner on Wednesday to resolve the labour dispute that stalled piling works of the Metro Rail project on the Kaloor stretch remained inconclusive.

The conciliatory meeting hit a dead end with the trade unions and Soma Constructions, entrusted with the piling works along the Kaloor-Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium stretch, failed to join hands.

This means that the piling work remained suspended for the third consecutive day in the Kaloor stretch. The deadlock arose after the sub-contractor refused to yield to the demand to raise the number of union workers from 10 to 22 at the casting site.

Labour Minister Shibu Baby John had directed Joint Labour Commissioner to organise the meeting after the piling works remained disrupted for two days. The meeting was attended by the officials of Soma Constructions, and leaders of CITU and INTUC.

The construction company, however, was doubtful about solutions hammered out in such meetings. They felt that even if the present problems were addressed, similar problems might crop up in future.

The meeting failed after the company decided that work needs to be resumed only after all possible issues that may arise in the future during the course of the piling and thereafter are identified and solutions suggested.

With the talks failing to throw up a solution, the stalemate in work in the Kaloor stretch is likely to continue. Workers affiliated to CITU and INTUC will stay away from Kochi Metro Rail works in the coming days. However, they will not disrupt the work.

The labour issue will now be discussed at a high-level meeting on the project to be held in Kochi on September 22. The meeting to be held in the presence of Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed will be attended by representatives of Kochi Metro Rail Limited and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, officials of various government departments, and senior police officers.

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