The Indian government is trying to avert a threatened nationwide strike by unionized dockworkers starting from April 19th that would impact supply chains, the Journal of Commerce reports.
The call for an indefinite industrial action beginning April 19 has been given by a consortium of labor groups representing dockworkers employed at major, or public ports as protest against a reform of major port trusts through new legislation dubbed the Major Ports Authority Bill 2016.
The dockworker unions have already served an official strike notice to respective port authorities and the Ministry of Shipping, highlighting their concerns and charter of demands.
Senior officials from the ministries of labor and shipping will enter talks with union representatives April 17 to review workers’ charter of demands, according to the latest government communique.
The labor unions fear the reform program would lead to privatization of port activities in a phased manner and in turn, a loss of jobs and social security for the workers.
The new port legislation, which already has been cleared by the union cabinet, broadly aims to replace port management under boards of trustees with independent boards that will have the power to fix tariffs and make major investments.
“With a view to promoting the expansion of port infrastructure and facilitate trade and commerce, the proposed bill aims at decentralizing decision-making and to infuse professionalism in governance of ports,” the government said in a previous statement.
RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation and provide more updates once available. Please follow us for more updates.