Picketing at Point Pedro harbour resumes

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 January 2003, 18:33 GMT]
Several members of the Jaffna District Private Vehicle Owners Co-operative Association (JDPVOCA) Monday resumed their picketing at the Ponit Pedro harbour, protesting the decision of the Government Agent (GA) to allow private vehicles to transport cargo unloaded at the Point Pedro harbour. The decision by the GA, says the JDPVOCA, violates an earlier understanding that only JDPOCA-owned vehicles would be allowed to transport the cargo.

JDPVOCA sources said the picketing would continue until their demand that only the lorries of the members of the association should be allowed to transport is met.

The JDPVOCA members last week postponed their two-day picketing to allow more time for the GA to make a final decision on their demand. However, the GA advertised in Jaffna newspapers calling for tenders from private transport owners to remove cargo unloaded in the Point Pedro jetty and transported to other areas in the peninsula.

The GA's action ignored their demand and forced them to resume their picketing immediately, the picketers say. Several hundreds of members of the JDPVOCA gathered at the fourth cross street in Point Pedro, which leads to the harbour, and staged a sit-in protest, blocking the road and preventing private lorries from entering. Port workers also joined the picketing in solidarity with the JDPVOCA, sources said.

All unloading work at the harbour came to a standstill on Monday. The Additional Government Agent Mr.T.Vaithilingam rushed to Point Pedro and held talks with the picketers to withdraw their trade union action. However, JDPVOCA members told the AGA that they would not abandon their picketing until their demand was met, sources said.

 

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