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Container handling will come to a halt at Cochin port from next week due to strike

Containers trucks have threatened to go on an indefinite strike at Cochin port, the second work stoppage at the port within a month protesting against the system of trucks entering the port

Cargo handling at the Vallarpadam container terminal is likely to be paralyzed forcing shipping lines to call off their sailing to the west coast port. Cochin port has just got over the labor issues involving the container truck operators only last month.

Private Motor Workers’ Union launching indefinite strike on Jan 22 against the move to withdraw the Pool system for scanning trucks

Container truck drivers affiliated to Private Motor Workers’ Union (AITUC) will launch an indefinite strike on January 22, protesting against the move to withdraw the Pool system for scanning trucks at the Vallarpadam container terminal, according to left union sources.

“Under the pool system, drivers wearing radiation-resistant gear used to take container lorries through the scanning cabin. The designated drivers had to take over the lorry once it reached the Customs area and take it through the cabin.

Now, the Port authorities are planning to reintroduce the drive-through system. Besides, they are charging `1,000 per truck for parking on the premises for more than four hours, which is burdening us,” according to union sources.

Drive-through scanning system withdrawn last year following a strike by drivers union

He said the drive-through scanning system, which exposed the drivers to radiation, was withdrawn last year following a strike launched by the driver’s union and truck owners.

The system posed a health risk to drivers and 17 drivers had to seek medical treatment due to the ill effects of scanning, he said.
Representatives of the union will meet regional joint labor commissioner on January 16th to press their demand.

“We will request the cooperation of other unions to launch a joint strike,” the sources said.

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