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Paradip Port Stevedoring Activities Hit Hard, ‘Indefinite Cease-Work’ By Agitating 1400 Dumper Drivers, Helpers

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17 August 2017

Binay Kumar Ray

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Paradip: Following an indefinite cease-work stir since Wednesday night by over 1400 dumper drivers and helpers engaged in the port here, stevedoring activities have reportedly come to a grinding halt and ships are reportedly lying idle at the berths.

Prominent among their charter of demands are safety and security, timely payment, EPF and ESI facilities.

According to the protesters, they had on August 7 held a token cease-work strike in the wake of two mishaps and had submitted their memorandum with the owners’ association. The association had then assured to fulfil their demands by August 15, but to no avail for which the aggrieved drivers and helpers have been compelled to resume their indefinite strike.

Protesting driver Deba Mondal said, “We’ve been oppressed and fleeced for years together by the Stevedores Association, Port Authority and transport vehicle owners and it has already been highlighted in media earlier. We appeal both the Prime Minister and Chief Minister to pay heed to our SOS. Despite the Labour Law in force, it is being lent a blind eye. The fate of the family members of our 1400 drivers and helpers is in extreme trouble.”

“If the Stevedores Association, Port Authority and transport vehicle owners still remain indifferent to this agitation and our demands, we’ll be bound down to take to the streets along with our aggrieved family members. We have resorted to cease-work since 10.30 pm on Wednesday. Following our cease-work stir, Paradip Port activities have come to a grinding halt. Total activities at the berths have been ceased. Ships are lying unattended. We’ll continue with our strike till our demands are fulfilled,” Mondal threatened.

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Deba Mondal, Dumper Driver, Pradip Port