Pilots and Marine officers at Kochi port call for strike
Movement of ships to and from Kochi port is likely to be affected next
week in the wake of the strike call given by pilots and marine engineers. Tuesday, 18.Jan.2011, 23:48 (GMT+3)
The Port of Kochi has served as one of the most important gateways to India from the many Asian as well as European nations. The port is growing and expanding with time and has implemented several technologies so that it functions more efficiently. Marine trade and commerce has found a steady base at the Kochi Port in South India.
Movement of ships to and from Kochi port is likely to be affected next week in the wake of the strike call given by pilots and marine engineers, protesting against the anomalies in the implementation of the revised pay scales.
Sources in the pilots fraternity pointed out that the pay and allowances of Class I and II officers in the major ports were revised, considering the problems being faced by them due to shortage of pilots/marine engineers.
However, the Kochi port management, while implementing the pay revision in November 2010, did not grant the increased pay scale to the marine officers here. The sources went on to add that Mumbai and Vishakapatanam port trusts have already implemented the pay revisions.
This apart, in the cadre restructuring order, officers of other departments who were one-two scales below pilots were moved up to go one scale above pilots. Cadre order The pilots and other marine officers, the sources said, were only asking for an increase of one scale, as granted by the latest pay revision order , so as to stay on par with the officers of other departments.
While two months of discussions have not yielded any solution, the pilots are hopeful that the issue will be resolved by this week, failing which they may have to adopt measures such as âwork to rule', which is likely to affect port operations. The situation is even more serious given the commissioning of the ICTT at Vallarpadam.
The pilots and marine officers have now decided that if the administration does not meet their demands, they will be forced tolimit their work to their duty shift alone. Considering the shortage of pilots, this is likely to affect operations, the sources added.
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