KOCHI: The leaders of the five federations of trade unions representing the port and dock workers have urged the union government to take steps to strengthen women committees at ports.
The TU representatives who met here last week also urged to strictly implement the various government orders related to the safety and welfare of women workforce and protect them from the disastrous effects of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. “The effectiveness of the rules against sexual harassment and the functioning of the women Committees is in question,” a resolution passed at the national convention of TU federations stated.
“Women employees are privileged with certain welfare measures. They have the right to get maternity and child care leave. But in reality, the port managements are often reluctant to sanction child care leave. The reason cited is staff shortage owing to ban on employment,” the resolution said.
It is also alleged that the benefits announced for woman employees remain on paper at many ports.
“Sanctioning of child care leave has become a mirage. Similarly, the suggestion to set up creches also remains on paper. Granting of dearness allowance to the re-employed widows who are in receipt of family pension is also not in effect in all major ports,” leaders said.
“Women Committees of the major ports play a key role in resolving issues and grievances of woman employees. Most ports have framed rules with regard to the protection of woman employees from sexual harassment at work places. The effective implementation of such rules has to be ensured,” the leaders said.
Another demand raised by the leaders was that the government should desist from the move to amend the labour laws that could have an adverse impact on labourers. The leaders said that the proposed amendments in the Factories Act, Industrial Dispute Act, Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition Act), 1970 and Apprenticeship Act will help the entrepreneurs free themselves from the restrictions imposed by the enactments. “The labour force will be subjected to sheer exploitation, and ‘hire and fire’ system will dominate the field,” they said.