The labour unrest at Delhi airport’s cargo terminal that had disrupted supplies of major white goods companies in the country, has been resolved. The unrest had led to delay in consignments that has hit the festival season sales and was a setback for these companies, especially amid the festival season sales across physical and online platforms.
Labourers employed by JAC Air Services had been on ‘Go Slow’ since October 7, over wage issues. JAC has been contracted by Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management, the India unit of the Turkish ground handling major.
It has been found that the two sides have come to an agreement, with JAC Air Services agreeing to hike wages of the labourers.
“Despite the aviation industry being one of the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic situation, some outsourced contract employees have been demanding wage increase and bonus payments,” said an official from Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management.
“Throughout the phases of complete shutdown of the economy, we have tried to protect the interest of all our employees and ensured continuity of wages. The company will continue to ensure that its customers and services are not disrupted”, added the official.
Labour trouble has led to massive delays in clearance of the consignments at the cargo terminal as shared by executives from companies dealing in products such as ovens, refrigerators and televisions.
“The clearance has got delayed by at least six to seven days,” a senior executive at one of the companies said.
This unrest has also impacted the biggest electronics companies, as shared by another senior executive.
This disruption had come about in the middle of the peak festival season, which is the busiest time of the year for these companies. The festive season of this year is particularly important as it comes as the only silver lining of a year battered by heavy losses and unprecedented circumstances.
Earlier this year, there were signs of labour unrest at the cargo terminal. In April, says a report by PeoplesDispatch.com, labourers belonging to JAC Air Services had complained about unpaid dues.
The Delhi Airport handles nearly 30 percent of the country’s air cargo.
There are already reports of companies running out of stock due to supply constraints. While most of the retail chains are pushing for higher sales, e-tailers such as Amazon and Flipkart have also announced annual festival sales and have witnessed record sales this season.
The recent border skirmish in June with China has led to strong scrutiny of all imports to Mumbai and Chennai by the Customs Department. This had led to the cargo terminals at the bigger airports catering to higher volumes.
In June, the Delhi airport handled 1,850 freighter aircraft, its highest ever for a month.
(This news has been updated following the agreement between labourers and JAC Air Services)