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Major ports nationwide stir deferred after govt's consideration of workers' demands

The major port workers’ nation-wide strike that was threatened to begin from any time after August 18 has been averted on an appeal from the chief labour commissioner of India and the ministry of shipping declaring that the demands of the six labour federations were under active consideration of the union govt. 

A top veteran port leader who participated in the conciliatory meeting convened by the CLC on August 16 at Delhi following a strike notice given by the labour federations told this paper that the labour federations postponed their strike to a future date as the shipping ministry representative told the meeting that all the points raised by the labour federations were still considerations of the govt and this being a thing they agreed not to strike on or August 18 as per their notice. 

‘’This is true. There is no point in launching strike when their points were under active considerations of the govt. We are now waiting for the govt’s final decision on our reasonable and genuine demands,’’Manohar Bellani, a senior labour trustee and a top HMS-affiliated biggest federation said. 

To a query as to how long you would wait as governments tend to prolong things, Bellani said;’’ If the govt does that, we are not loser as we are now governed by the old and time tested major port trust act 1963 and our new demands under the new Major port Authority Act 2016 that the govt is now trying hard to enact are solely based on the MPT acts.’’

 He said that their main objection was against the govt having started making new rules on its own way without taking in their demands almost accepted by the parliament’s standing committee on the subject.He said upon this  the ministry people informed the meeting that the rules were framed before the recommendations of the Parliament ‘s standing committee.

 Bellani said that their demands included appointment of two labour trustees on the new governing body under the Major Ports Authority Act-here the govt wanted only one-, service condition and wages of the major ports workers remaining the same and no outsourcing in fire services and hospital in the port hospitals. He said they wanted appointment of trustees should be as per old democratic practice. 

He said that they were also given to understand that after the decision of the govt on their demands a meeting would be called at the shipping secretary level to sort out any differences still remained. 

The CLC meeting was attended by representatives of six all India labour federations, Indian Ports Association (IPA) and the union govt representatives from the shipping ministry who included deputy secretary and under secretary.



 D V Maheshwari
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