Staff Reporter

Unions deny resorting to industrial action

KOCHI: Thanks to ‘alternative arrangements,’ port operations here have not slowed down, claimed Cochin Port Trust authorities here on Sunday while trade unions, which last week served a notice of non-cooperation with computer networked operations of the port, denied resorting to any form of industrial action.

A spokesman for the Port Trust said that port operations had not been delayed or slowed down at the port. He said that the Port had pressed into service tugs serving the single point mooring facility of BPCL-Kochi Refinery for its operations.

The Port authorities are learnt to have imposed no-work, no-pay (dies non) rules to curb what has widely been reported as a ‘go slow’ action by a section of the workers at the Port.

However, a spokesman for Kochi Thuramugha Samrakshana Samthi, a forum of various trade unions at the Port, denied resorting to any industrial action.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure smooth operations at the Port,” said the trade union spokesman.

He, however, said that crew strengths were depleted in the marine wing.

If there is any slowdown in operation it is because of the reduced crew strength he said pointing to the recent implementation of new manning scales at the port on the basis of the award by the Central Industrial Tribunal.

The trade union spokesman said that the workers were abiding by the spirit and letter of the agreement reached on May 17 by which a 22-day-old strike was withdrawn by the Samrakshana Samithi.

The trade union spokesman also accused the Port Trust management of resorting to vindictive action and initiating disciplinary action against some of the employees.

He claimed that the series of disciplinary action had triggered some panic among the employees, the spokesperson claimed. The trade unions have been vexed by the Port Trust’s deployment of tugs from another facility for port operations.

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