Around 200 seafarers of the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) have been on hunger strike since May 28, after the company failed to revise wages and pay outstanding debts, India’s Business Standard reports.
According to the National Maritime Board (NMB) agreement effective from March 2015, SCI was supposed to raise its employees’ wages by about 30 percent.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that SCI is a stakeholder in the Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA), it has not implemented the revision until now, Business Standard informs.
Abdulgani Y Serang, General Secretary-cum-Treasurer of National Union of Seafarers of India said that the workers have not received arrears for more than a year and that they are ready for more intensive action if the company doesn’t respond to seafarers’ complaints. As disclosed, the seafarers of SCI’s 16 ships, including tankers, have resorted to this radical move.
Serang also remarked that other INSA members have already implemented revised wages together with outstanding payments.
Under the NMB agreement, there has been an increase in basic wages and allowances for all categories of petty officers and ratings working on foreign-going, home trade and offshore vessels.
Shipping Corporation of India has recovered from its loss making phase since 2011-12, bouncing back to a net profit of Rs.384.41 crore during 2015-16.
As a result, the company has been advised by the government to purchase new fuel efficient vessels to replace the old ones and increase its competitiveness on the market.
When asked by World Maritime News to comment, Capt. Ashok Kumar, Adviser at INSA said that INSA doesn’t have any official information about the hunger strike.
The company has not yet responded to our question about the matter.
World Maritime News Staff