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Casual workers’ strike at Trivandrum Airport impacts Cargo Operations

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The confederation of Trivandrum Airport Casual Workers Trade Union’s decision to carry on with the token strike at the airport since Wednesday has resulted in disruptions in cargo operations at the airport.

The ground staff under the trade unions decided to stage a protest on 1st and 2nd July against the termination of at least 120 casual staff by Air India SATS, which is now being further stretched.

According to the agitators, the termination notice was issued to them during the lockdown period; ignoring their proposal of salary cuts and shifts.

The Casual workers handle the operations of flights, luggage shifting, cleaning the flight, filling the cargo, setting up of conveyor belts etc.

“We were informed that cargo operations were hit due to unavailability of employees. The members of all trade unions, CITU, INTUC and BMS are jointly participating in the strike. The company has over 900 staff at the airport, which include 200 managerial staff. We had requested them not to terminate the staff during the lockdown and that we are ready to take a salary cut. They terminated senior staff with nine years of experience, while retaining newly-recruited staff.”

~P Rajendradas, General Secretary, Trivandrum International and Domestic Airport contract Workers Union (CITU)

Rajendradas added that they could have cut down on expenses, if they had accepted their proposal instead of terminating the staff.

While the trade union members informs that the Casual Workers strike has caused disruption of cargo operations at the airport, the airport authority paints another picture.

Airport director C V Ravindran, said “The strike did not affect the functioning of the airport. The number of flights has been reduced and airport operations were not affected due to the strike.”

Earlier, on Wednesday the airport authority claimed to have temporary arrangements to handle the work during the protest.

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