Cochin Dock Strike Ends

Cochin Dock Strike Ends

Dockworkers at India’s Port of Cochin called off their strike late Wednesday afternoon, following intervention by local state government authorities.

The Trade Union Coordination Committee, representing all major labor groups in the port, launched a 72-hour strike Tuesday demanding job protection for some 4,000 workers who were likely to be rendered jobless with the commissioning of a new private container terminal.

Union leaders said state authorities agreed to address the workers’ grievances through further negotiations with port management and terminal operator DP World.

By The Numbers: U.S. Container Trade With India.

Port officials said striking workers returned to work Wednesday night and normal operations were restored after the two-day protest severely crippled cargo handling at the port terminal.

The new $500 million International Container Transshipment Terminal is scheduled to open in October with annual capacity of 1 million 20-foot equivalent units in the first phase.

Frequent labor unrest in recent years has seriously damaged Cochin’s reputation internationally, prompting mainline operators to omit calls at the southeastern hub, and the port authority is hoping that ICTT with stricter operating discipline and better infrastructure will help reverse its fortunes.

Cochin moved 290,000 TEUs in fiscal 2009-10 ended March 31, compared with 261,000 TEUs the previous year. Throughput for the April-July period increased to 118,000 TEUs from 100,000 TEUs.