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
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
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