MUMBAI : The Working Committee Meeting of All India Port & Dock Workers Federation held at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust on 10th and 11th August 2017 had fully endorsed the decision taken in the joint meeting of all the Six Federations, representing Port and Dock Workers of the eleven Major Ports of the Country who met at New Mangalore Port on 28-07-2017, to resort to Nationwide Indefinite Strike with effect from 18th August, 2017 onwards. The meeting expressed serious concern over the deteriorating labour situation prevailing in the Major Ports due to the illogical, non productive, partisan and anit-labour actions of the Indian Ports Management and the Ministry of Shipping in particular. According to the Federation the Policies adopted by the Ministry of Shipping as well as the Indian Ports Association are affecting adversely the livelihood of thousands of Port Workers. The discriminatory actions of the Authorities has been increasing and curtailing the fundamental rights of the Port Workers.
Outsourcing of perennial nature of jobs, ban on recruitment against Class III and Class IV posts, non filling up of vacancies, indiscriminate abolition of posts, mass contractorization and outsourcing of Port related activities are some of the serious problems the Port workers are confronting at present. Contractorization and outsourcing of Port related activities had resulted in loss of regular employment and job cuts in the Major Ports in addition to exploitation of labour rights by all means Encouraging private Ports within the vicinity of Major Ports had already resulted in diversion of cargo from Major Ports to private ports.
The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016 recently placed before the Parliament for replacing the Major Port Trust Act, 1963 will definitely pave way for total privatization of the Government Ports which will adversely affect not only Port and Dock Workers but also detrimental to the interest of the Country at large. Though the Federations had discussed the impact of the proposed Bill on the Ports and its workers at the level of Secretary (Shipping) Chief Labour Commissioner and the Authorities of Indian Ports Management and consensus reached on serval issues, none of them have been seen incorporated in the Bill placed before the Parliament, particularly relating to protection of jobs, wage structures, service conditions including pension to the retired workers and nomination of Labour Representatives in the Board as per the existing provisions of MPT Act. At present two Labour Representatives are there in the Port Trust Board being the main Stakeholder and it has been reduced to one in the proposed Bill and the manner of appointment has also been changed by avoiding Trade Unions.
Several statutory settlements have been kept unlmplemented arbitrarlly by the Port Authorities disreading the advice of the Conciliation Authorities in the matter. Several recommendation of the Bipartite / Tripartite Committees constitute by the Ministry particularly, relating to the development and sustain ability of the Major Ports including the one pertaining to Recognition of Trade Unions operating in the Major Ports as per Government guidelines, are not implemented even after a lapse of several year and repeated reminders.
Since the authorities are going ahead ignoring the genuine grievances of the workers and the fact that labour unrest in mounting in the Major Ports due to the lethargic attitude of the Authorities, the Federations are constrained to advice its affiliates to resort to Industrial Action including Nationwide Strike w.e.f. 18-08-2017 onwards in order to secure their rights and privileges. the Federation Leaders added.
The meeting was Chaired by Shri P. M. Mohammed Haneef (President) and attended by other leaders Viz S/Shri. G.M. Krishnamurthy (working President), Leonard Rodrigues (Sr. Vice President), Suresh Chandra Shetty (Vice President), Kishore Kotwal (Vice President), Kesri Parekh (Dy. General Secretary), S.R. Yadav, Chinmoy Roy, Kalpana Desai, Uday Chaudhary, Seema Mohan, Razia (Secretaries), Cruz, Sathyanarayanan, Dinesh Patil, Thomas Sebastian, (Joint Secretaries) and other several Senior leaders from various Ports.