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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Indian Port Workers Drop Strike Proposal

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 16, 2015

Image: Kandla Port Trust

Image: Kandla Port Trust

 The Port and Dock Workers Federation (AITUC) has decided to defer the strike proposed from March 16, in view of the Central Labour Commissioner appointing a committee to study the demands and grievances of workers and employees of major ports.

 
The Federation has decided to defer the strike after a favorable result at the meeting called by the Central Labour Commissioner in New Delhi in which members of trade unions, employees’ representatives and chairmen of three major ports participated, said Honorary president of the Port and Dock Workers Federation VV Rama Rao.
 
All-India Ports and Docks Workers Federation has also decided to withdraw the strike notice which was served to oppose central government’s plan to corporatize the 12 major ports of India.
 
While four of the five major federations of port and dock workers supported the proposal to withdraw the strike, the CITU federation expressed dissent.
 
Earlier, the Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari had assured the union leaders that no major port would be privatized, and that corporatization would be carried out only after addressing the apprehensions of the workers.
 
The unions’ withdrawal from the strike may eventually lead to clearing of a major hurdle in the government’s efforts to turn port trusts into companies under the Companies Act.
 
In February, finance minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech proposed to convert 12 public sector port trusts into companies. The government’s decision did not go down well with the port workers as they were upset that they have not been taken into confidence while deciding to make, what they are calling, radical changes in the organisational structure of the ports and the consequences arising out of it.
 
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