Tug Workers on Hunger Strike

Fifty contractual workers of a Shipping Company went on hunger strike on Saturday as their long-pending demands have not been met. The workers alleged that the company is not concerned about fulfilling their demands. The company has given the contract of operating tugs to a firm called SVS. Workers from captain to deck crew sat on dharna at the company’s jetty. At present, 10 tugs are being operated at Hazira and all their workers are on strike. The strike brought to a standstill all work at the company’s jetty.

“Workers have long-pending demands, which include depositing PF and PPF amount in a government body rather than depositing it in a private trust. Payment of gratuity to workers is pending and they are also harassed when they sign in and out,” said Ajay Mewala, member of Forward Seamen Union of India (FUSI). FUSI is working for contractual workers at the Shipping Company. Mewala added that International Transport Foundation recently issued a show-cause notice to the company and SVS.

Sources said tug workers and their leaders tried to solve the issue but failed. A meeting was held in Mumbai two days back, but it was not fruitful. Now workers are determined to get their demands fulfilled but the company seems unconcerned. “No company official has made any attempt to start dialogue,” said Sudhir Pandey, a tug crew member on hunger strike. Meanwhile, the Shipping Company said the issue has to be resolved by SVS officials.

Source: DNA

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