Cochin port settles with trade unions

Kochi, March 21 | Updated: Mar 22 2005, 05:30am hrs
As a prelude to the handing over of the existing terminal at the Cochin Port Trust to Dubai Port International (DPI) that is to build the new international container transhipment terminal at Vallarpadam, the port has arrived at a settlement with the trade unions.

Port chairman Jacob Thomas said several apprehensions that the labour unions had regarding handing over of the present Rajiv

Gandhi Container Terminal (RGCT) to DPI from March 28 so that it could begin operations from the next fiscal were cleared. In an agreement with the unions, it was decided that all the 352 employees of the RGCT would be transferred to DPI for four years till it shifts operations to the new terminal.

There would be no financial burden on the port due to this transfer and all the existing benefits of the employees had been ensured.

There would be no retrenchment of the employees. Mr Jacob Thomas said it was a historical settlement in the area of privatisation in the port sector and without any agitation.

Meanwhile, after a gap of 23 years, the port handled timber cargo. Over 4,700 tonne of timber came to the port from Myanmar.

The port, losing ground in timber cargo to Tuticorin and New Mangalore ports, had introduced customer-friendly wharfage and land rent, the chairman said, adding that there were several inquiries coming in.