KOCHI: The All India Port And Dock Workers' Federation has voiced concern at the 'Major Port Authorities Bill' tabled in Parliament. P M Mohammed Haneef, All India Port and Dock Workers Federation president, said, " The government says the Bill will give autonomy to ports. However, what we understand after a detailed study of the Bill is it will only pave way for privatisation. They have not added any of the demands made by the employees. We want the government to retain the Major Port Trust Act of 1963."
Furthermore, he said,"We are unaware of what has become of these recommendations yet. In the meantime, the Code on Wage Bill has also been notified and the federations found the codification of several enactments directly relating to labour, including port and dock workers, are detrimental."
According to Haneef, "Irrespective of political affiliation all the port employees will oppose the Bill.
We have discussions scheduled for this month-end with the respective officers. If things don't work out, we won't hesitate to call an indefinite strike".
Earlier, the federations had been invited by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture to apprise it of their grievances on the proposed Bill.
The committee had viewed the labour unions' demand in a positive light and made the recommendations accordingly.