Who is Porter? What are Classes of Porters?

General notion about a porter is that s/he is a person who lifts the luggage at bus stations, at railway stations, in hotels, and in mountains. But official definition of a porter is wider. For example,

The Himachal Pradesh Climbing / Trekking Porters (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1977 defines porter as a person who does manual, skilled, or unskilled work to assist the peak climbing or trekking expeditions visiting the state. And s/he works for a remuneration. (Section 2-d)

However, a person who does clerical or managerial jobs and a medical attendant assisting the expeditions are not called porters. They maybe employees of a travel agency or tour operator. (Section 2)

What is Skill?

 

Skill is a combination of know-how and knowledge required to solve problems and do tasks.

What is Manual Work?

 

The manual work is a work

  • that does not require formal education.
  • that involves physical work, for example, loading and unloading of goods.
  • That generally involves non-mechanical tasks.

 

What is Unskilled Work?

 

An unskilled work is a work

  • that requires low level of education and skills.
  • that neither requires special technical education nor prior experience.  For example, carrying rucksack of a trekker or mountaineer, helping in camping chores- assisting in kitchen, cleaning, serving food, and / or fetching water.
  • that includes repetitive and menial tasks.
  • that is simple to do.
  • that does not involve independent decision making.
  • that contributes less economic value.
  • for which workers earn relatively less wages.

What is Skilled Work?

 

A skilled work is a work

  • that requires expertise in one craft, industry, or trade. For example, work done by an accountant, a store keeper, a heavy vehicle driver, a plumber, a physician, a cook…
  • that needs higher education and special skills, including ability to think.
  • that is difficult and therefore requires independent decision making skills.
  • that has high economic value.
  • for which workers are relatively paid high wages.

 

3 Classes of Porters

 

The Section 6 of the act divides porters into three classes:

 

Porter Class Job Description
 A Serves at any altitude.
 B Serves up to 5,758 meters / 19,000 feet
 C Serves up to 4,091 meters / 13,500 feet

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