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i-maritime Newsletter

Issue in clearing fertiliser consignments at Kochi port resolved - 2011-12-12

The issue with regard to clearing of imported fertilisers at Kochi Port has been resolved with the trade unions representing the Kerala Head Load Workers engaged in the cargo clearance activities deciding to enhance productivity of cargo evacuation at the Port. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting convened by the Port Trust Chairman, and attended by the Labour Commissioner, Kerala Government, Chairman, Kerala Head Load Workers Welfare Board and the leaders of various trade unions. The issue of low rate of clearance of imported fertilisers from the Port had created severe adverse impact in the agricultural sector. The Welfare Board was able to supply only around 40 workers on an average against a demand of 120. The cause of the shortage was the compartmentalisation of labour into various water-tight pools within the Welfare Board where over 2,500 workers are registered, a statement issued here said.
Despite the lack of work for workers in other pools, they could not be spared by the Board resulting in shortage amidst plenty. The situation led to delayed evacuation of fertilisers from the Port. The Labour Commissioner appealed to the Unions to ensure that adequate labour is available to maintain the business of the Port. The unions collectively decided to have a transparent system of deployment where first preference will be given to the workers in the specified pool where work is originated and in the event of further requirement, willing workers from other pools will be deployed. The leaders of various unions also assured support to the port to tide over the present crisis and create a conducive atmosphere in the Willingdon Island for more bulk handling in the future. It may be recalled that the public sector FACT could only move 3,000 tonnes of urea from the port premises out of the total 23,000 tonnes imported by the company on November 18. Likewise, Indian Potash Ltd was able to take out only 12,000 tonnes of potash of the total 27,500 tonnes from the port due to lack of sufficient number of workers to move the cargo.

Source: Hindu Business Line