Mumbai: Cargo loaders to protest suspension of 19 coworkers
Almost 10 days after a ground-handling agency, Cambata Aviation, suspended 19 loaders for their refusal to work on November 3, the management is expected to face its backlash. According to airport officials, starting from 3 pm today, around 200 loaders are expected to take part in a protest march to oppose the suspension of their colleagues.
The protest march by loaders is expected to hit cargo uploading and offloading at the terminal. File pic
The march will start from the Escort building (Marol), where the Cambata office is situated to the Air Cargo building, partially affecting the cargo uploading and offloading process at the terminal.
On November 3, a few loaders from Cambata Aviation refused to work during duty hours, slowing down the process of cargo handling. Airport officials claim they were protesting the duty deployment system. After the incident was brought to the notice of the management, 19 loaders who were found to be involved were suspended a day later. Tension mounted between the management and loaders, who also allege that they are not being paid by the ground-handling agency.
The loaders’ protest is being supported by the Maharashtra Samarth Kamgar Sanghatana, as well as MLA Kiran Pawaskar and Shrikant Sarmalkar. Pawaskar said, “These loaders are treated as slaves, as they are not even paid on time. Out of the 19 loaders who were suspended, only a few were on duty at the time. We will meet the management of Cambata Aviation at their office, and if they do not cooperate, we will hold the protest march.”
An airport official told mid-day, “The loaders were opposing the new system of duty deployment based on rotation. The protest march will be taken out to oppose the decision of suspension. They are not happy with the system of duty hours and some have even stopped working, but the system has not changed.” Another officer from the cargo terminal said, “The management informed security personnel about the suspended staff members, so that they are barred from entering the terminal.”
When mid-day spoke to Vigilance Supervisor, Prabod Dalvi, of Cambata Aviation, he said, “I am on leave at the moment and will only be able to comment once I’m back.”