Indian Ports Prepare for a General Strike on September 2nd

Unionized dockworkers at India’s biggest container gateway are preparing to join a 24-hour general strike  on September 2nd, according to the Journal of Commerce. A one-day nationwide strike call  has been given by all central trade unions and affiliated federations.

Port labor groups are primarily protesting a reform of public port trusts pushed by the Narendra Modi-led government, a step that the workers fear would ultimately lead to total privatization and in turn, a loss of jobs and benefits for them.

Together with dockworkers, truckers, seafarers, shipyard workers, rail workers, public sector employees and workers from other sections have vowed to join the nationwide industrial action to protest government policies. The stoppage is expected to have crippling effects on supply chains and in turn, on the Indian economy, according to industry leaders.

In addition, several major carriers have issued congestion surcharge notices with amounts of $150 per 20-foot-equivalent unit and $300 per 40-foot-equivalent unit for all JNPT-bound shipments to offset extra costs caused by the disruption.

The planned labor action is also likely to disrupt operations at most of the state-owned ports, potentially leading to an acceleration of the long term trend of cargo diversions to privately-operated, minor marine terminals.

Please be guided accordingly. RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation and report further updates once available.