State government’s intervention helped parking facilities return at Calcutta airport with marshals timing cars standing along kerbs as a new contractor took charge on Saturday.

The semblance of what is normal in airports everywhere but missing in Calcutta came after a two-day tussle with a Trinamul-backed union that wanted only its own people in the new team.

Sources said the Airports Authority of India sought help from the chief minister’s office after the union leaders refused to allow personnel the contractor had got from north India to join work on the ground that they were taking away local jobs. Even a section of police had suggested that the airport authorities negotiate with the union leaders.

Sources said the efforts to find a solution gained steam after AAI officials spoke to senior officials in the chief minister’s office on Friday.

After the government stepped in, the airport police convened a meeting between the representatives of the contractor and union leaders. The meeting started after midnight and continued till the early hours of Saturday till a solution was reached, they said.
At the end of the marathon meeting, Mahesh Sunny Enterprises Pvt Ltd agreed to employ previous workers hired by the earlier agency as demanded by the NSCBI Airport Contractual Workers’ Union. The contractor was also allowed to depute the men it had brought from north India to run parking operations.

“The contractor agreed to retain all the previous workers. The union leaders also did not object to the agency deputing the men it had brought from north India,” said a cop. The parking fees were collected from 9.30am, said an airport official. Metro had reported how the union prevented the new agency from taking over parking operations since Thursday.

“I have deployed 15 men who are employees of our firm. I will bring in 15 more in the coming days. I am happy that we can finally start work,” said Babulal Yadav, general manager of Mahesh Sunny Enterprises.
04/08/19 Sanjay Mandal/Telegraph