Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Major trade unions at the Cochin Port Trust have distanced themselves from the ongoing strike by drivers and crew of container trailer lorries since Tuesday night which has created serious congestion at the Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal, now operated by India Gateway Terminals Private Limited (IGTPL). A communication issued by seven major trade unions said that following an assurance given at a meeting by Cochin Port Trust Chairman N. Ramachandran on Thursday to find lasting solutions to the problems raised by the workers, the striking lorry crew and drivers were asked to return to work.

The union representatives said at the meeting that the container trailer employees had to wait for hours to unload containers in the terminal. Though this was brought to the notice of the terminal authorities time and again, no corrective measures were taken, they alleged.

The statement said that the chairman told the union members that the he realised the seriousness of the problem and assured them that he would find a permanent solution to the problem after talking to the terminal authorities. Representatives of the Cochin Port Staff Association, Cochin Thuramukha Thozhilali Union, Cochin Port Thozhilali Union (INTUC), Bharatiya Kamgar Sena, Cochin Port Labour Union, Kerala State Motor Thozhilali Union (TUCI) and Ernakulam District Lorry-Mini Lorry Workers Union (CITU) signed the statement.

However, an official of IGTPL said that the strike was on despite assurances. He said that trailer lorries were still on the roads blocking the terminal and that there were about 4,500 containers which needed to be moved out immediately. Another 1,500 containers needed to be loaded, creating severe congestion.