Attack on port machines

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  • Published 27.03.10

Tamluk, March 26: Dumpers brought by a company for cargo handling at Haldia docks were today found immobilised with sand in their fuel tanks in the middle of a Trinamul Congress-led agitation against the use of machines for the job.

The party has been opposing mechanisation on the ground that it would take away jobs now done manually. The same argument, used by the CPM against computers in the ’80s, is still hurting Bengal.

Local Trinamul MP Subhendu Adhikari denied the party’s hand in today’s sabotage. “Trinamul is not connected with the incident. The dumpers were parked in the company’s godown, which is manned by security guards. We can’t say who damaged them.”

But he defended the agitation against machines barely 8km from the Tata factory where his party is opposing a Citu strike. “Trinamul is carrying out a peaceful movement against mechanical handling of cargo. Around 2,500 labourers engaged by contractors are involved in loading and unloading cargo at the docks. If the mechanical handling of cargo is introduced, over 2,000 people will lose their jobs,” he said.

The Mumbai-based firm, ABG Group, lodged an FIR after the dumpers were found damaged. An official of the company said it had signed a deal with the port authorities to handle cargo in two berths with the help of cranes, payloaders and dumpers.