Wednesday, December 13, 2017

No takers to manage airport trolleys

Kolkata: A heavily unionised workforce with poor work culture that triggered capital flight in the 1980s and tarnished Bengal's image continues to torment Kolkata. Such is the spectre that the international airport at Kolkata is unable to woo any contractor to manage baggage trolleys, an apparently simple job that requires timely retrieval and stacking for use by passengers.
A senior official at Kolkata airport said a tender floated to appoint a new trolley management contractor failed to elicit any response, forcing Airports Authority of India (AAI) to extend the application date. One tender has recently been submitted, but it will not hold good unless there is competition from at least another applicant.
The AAI had to begin scouting for a contractor after the previous one left before its term expired. It was the sixth contractor to quit in the past nine years with none able to deliver. Passengers' complaints about lack of trolleys at both the arrival and departure levels have persisted for nearly two decades.
"The reason why the airport hasn't been able to solve the problem is that though the contractor can be dismissed for inefficiency, no one can do anything about the men who work under him. Hence, though the contractor has changed six times, the same men continue to be engaged for trolley retrieval. They know that with powerful union backing, their jobs are secure, irrespective of how they function," an airport official said.
14/12/17 Tamaghna Banerjee/Times of India