Five Indian union federations representing the country’s dockers have announced an indefinite strike in eleven major ports beginning on March 9, to protest the government’s plans to corporatise the ports.
The federations and their affiliated unions simultaneously filed strike notices on February 20.
The government is proposing to amend the Major Port Trust Act 1963, and to turn the major ports into autonomous, corporate bodies.
Unions fear this would pave the way for future privatisation, which they believe would be detrimental to the future of the ports, the survival of dock workers’ jobs and workers’ pensions, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) said in a statement.
The federations taking the action are the All India Port & Dock Workers’ Federation; the Water Transport Workers’ Federation of India; the All India Port & Dock Workers’ Federation (workers); the Port, Dock & Waterfront Workers’ Federation; and the Indian National Port & Dock Workers’ Federation.
More than 30,000 dockers staged mass protests in India’s major ports as part of a national day of action on January 8 against the government’s privatisation plans.