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Work at Colombo Port reaches new high

A new consensus seems to have emerged between the port workers and their administrators, in the wake of the work to rule campaign by the Colombo Port workers recently, which crippled the activities of the port with the estimated loss running into millions of rupees.

According to the Chairman of the Ports Authority Saliya Wickremasuriya work at the Colombo Port reached a new high during last week following the talks between the Union representatives and Ports and Aviation Minister Mangala Samaraweera along with the Ports hierarchy, which worked as a catalyst in bridging the gap between the two parties with a common understanding.

"These constructive talks helped us to shed many misconceptions. The open and sensitive attitude of the Minister towards the workers problems has generated a lot of confidence and goodwill among the workers," Wickremasuriya said.

According to the Chairman during the week from July 24 to 29 the Gantry operational capacity per hour had risen to an all time high during the year.

"Last Friday, port workers were able to maintain a capacity of twenty operations per hour on main line vessels such as WAN HAI 263, Express Resolve and Norasia Polaris."

"In the WAN HAI it rose to a high of 35.62 per hour. The local owner of the ship Maclarens shipping had reported to us that this was the first occasion that such a high operational capacity had been reported from one of their ships," Wickremasuriya said.

According to the Chairman, the number of container operations (TEUS) had risen from the previous weeks 28,352 to 32,097 during last week.

The number of operations in Feeder Vessels had gone up to 18 per hour and for main line Vessels it had gone beyond 20.During last week the harbour had accommodated 23 main line vessels and 23 feeder vessels.

"This clearly shows the high capacity and the ability of the work force of the Colombo Port. In the future we would always strive to maintain a healthy dialogue with the workers to avoid unnecessary hassles."

The Port hierarchy on the advise of the Minister is planning to launch a constructive dialogue with all relevant parties to critically analyze the issues pertaining to the workers with the aim of coming out with viable solutions to their grievances, the Chairman said.

The Chairman further added that the Minister, hierarchy of the port and the work force would always strive to improve efficiency with the aim of maintaining the reputation of the Colombo Port as one of the hubs in South Asia.
(DN - 20060731)

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