Workers at India’s Port of Chennai launched a wildcat strike Thursday morning to protest the death of a colleague in a dockside accident, local shipping circles said.
The fatal accident occurred Wednesday in the terminal area when a container-laden truck rammed into the worker’s vehicle. The victim, who sustained serious injuries, was declared dead after admission to the port hospital. The port administration ordered an inquiry into the mishap.
A leading shipping line agent at Chennai said the abrupt stoppage created long queues of freight vehicles within and outside the port area.
“Overall, yard movements and operations at the terminals are pretty slow, affecting import deliveries and export loadings,” the agent said.
The disruption is the latest in a string of labor actions at Chennai in recent months, congesting the two terminals and forcing shippers to divert cargo to other gateway ports in the region. The problems also spurred several major carriers to impose emergency surcharges to compensate for delays and low productivity at the Chennai terminals, operated by DP World and PSA International.
According to a port update as of Thursday morning, the terminal yard inventory totaled about 17,000 20-foot equivalent units with imports accounting for more than 11,000 TEUs.