The Ministry of Shipping has established a Bipartite Wage Negotiation Committee (BWNC) to revise the wage structure and service conditions within a six-month period. However, talks regarding the wage revision have not yet reached a consensus, despite four meetings taking place since January 1, 2022. T. Narendar Rao, deputy general convenor of the National Coordination Committee, expressed disappointment over the lack of progress in negotiations, stating that talks had been postponed indefinitely after giving hope for a resolution.
In response to the stalled negotiations, workers at major ports have announced their plans to go on strike from October 17 to October 19. Additionally, during this time, they will wear protest badges while carrying on with their work. Rao emphasized that the strike was not their preferred course of action, but they felt compelled to take this step due to the actions of the government and port management authorities. However, if negotiations are called for and a settlement on wage revision is reached amicably, the workers are open to reconsidering their decision to strike.
Rao also expressed concerns about the potential delay in negotiations if the upcoming elections are announced, as the code of conduct would further postpone the discussions. He highlighted the government’s focus on organizing a ‘Global Maritime India Summit’ and noted the workers’ fears that negotiations would be pushed back even further due to the summit’s scheduling.