Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Mar 16, 2006
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Logistics - Roadways
States - Tamil Nadu
Lorry strike hits tea movement in Coonoor
Storm in a tea cup
`All we want is the money and it is immaterial as to who pays it as long as there is a permanent arrangement for the same,' say drivers.
About two million kg of teas are said to be lying in various warehouses because of the strike.
Coonoor , March 15
Movement of teas from warehouses to various destinations in the country and even to the shipyard has been seriously affected due to the ongoing lorry strike.
The drivers are on strike demanding Rs 120 per load as charges for them to collect the teas from the various warehouses in and around Coonoor. The issue of non-payment has arisen following a dispute between the lorry owners and the transport contractors as to who should pay it.
The Road Transport Association has said that it is for the owners to deal with their drivers. But the Coonoor Lorry Owners' Association has told the Tea Board Executive Director (ED) that the transport contractors deduct 4 per cent commission from the lorry hire as charges to be paid to the drivers. "We are not on strike. It is the drivers who have struck work. This is because of the indifferent attitude of the transport contractors. Their association has not yielded to our repeated pleas for a discussion on sorting out the collection charges. Meanwhile, they continue to deduct 4 per cent commission. So, we have told the drivers to collect their batta from the transporters themselves," a communication addressed to the ED, by the Lorry Owners' Association said.
It also said that the owners are ready to operate the vehicles any time and the drivers can come for work because, the owners have nothing to do with the issue of collection charge.
The Coonoor Lorry Drivers' Association has also written to the ED that the drivers are ready to operate the vehicles provided the ED create an atmosphere for smooth sailing. They do not want to deal with the transport operators. "All we want is the money and it is immaterial as to who pays it as long as there is a permanent arrangement for the same," the association said.
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