Kochi

Port unions flag acute manpower shortage

Demand rife for fresh recruitments, revival of Willingdon Island

Cochin Port Joint Trade Union Forum, a combine of trade unions at the port, has appealed to Union Minister for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya to help solve the problem of “acute shortage of manpower” and “revival and redevelopment” of Willingdon Island.

In a memorandum submitted to the Minister, The trade union forum said the total employee strength at the Kochi port had come down to 1,300 as against the previous 6,880. There have been a big number of employees retiring, and there are no fresh recruitments. This has led to a situation where the operations of the port trust are affected, the unions said in their representation to the Minister.

Migration

The migration of container handling business to Vallarpadam in 2011 has resulted in Willingdon Island going “dormant”.

New business has to be attracted and cargo handling facilities improved so that there will be more income for the port and more employment for those who had lost jobs after the migration of container cargo business.

Support from the Union Ministry alone can make the revival of Willingdon Island a reality, the unions said.

The workers also pointed out that there was a big shortfall in pension fund. While the valuation of pension fund was around ₹2,756 crore, the available amount was only ₹158 crore, said the unions. This is a situation where pension disbursal will be affected in the future. The employees blamed “under performance of ICTT” and mounting dredging cost as the reasons for the financial troubles of the port trust.

The unions also reiterated their long-standing demand for a relook at the licence agreement between India Gateway Terminal Private Limited and Cochin Port Trust in view of the “ambiguity in various clauses”.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:56:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/port-unions-flag-acute-manpower-shortage/article29630872.ece

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