The Trade Union Coordination Committee on Thursday brokered a truce between CITU and INTUC. The truce ended three days of stand-off between the two trade unions that threatened to disrupt the flow of small parcels of cargo out of the Cochin Port Trust premises.

The Trade Union Coordination Committee is a forum comprising the leading trade unions that settles disputes and looks into grievances.

“The meeting was convened on Thursday to discuss the issues at stake,” said P.S. Ashiq, the chairman.

He told The Hindu that it was agreed by the two trade unions that the current turn system, in which CITU controlled the allocation of work to mini lorries, would continue till the end of November. The modality to include INTUC members in the turn system would be decided upon before December 1.

Mr. Ashiq, who is also the vice-president of Cochin Thuramugha Thozhilali Union, said CITU workers were the worst affected by the stand-off.

The deadlock was caused by the recent migration of a number of mini lorry owners-cum-workers, at the Cochin Port premises, from CITU to INTUC. The migration appears to imitate a trend set by the likes of A. Abdullakutty, Sindhu Joy, K. S. Manoj and R. Selvaraj, famous for their dramatic exit from the CPI(M).

The trend set by them happens to continue in a different realm in Kochi through the CITU cadres who broke ranks to join INTUC. However, CITU has claimed that those who joined the rival trade union were thrown out for misconduct. The union claimed that only four workers were shown the door though those thrown out enlisted help from outside to press their demand to be allocated work.

Mini lorries at the port are engaged in transporting mostly small parcels of cargo that include personal effects. There are around 40 mini lorries at the port premises. INTUC has claimed that almost the entire workforce in these goods carriers switched their trade union allegiance recently.