Shri G.K. Vasan, the Union Minister of Shipping took initiative to break the impasse in the negotiations between the recognized Federations and Indian Ports Association (IPA) which averted the impending strike, signalling a great sigh of relief to the maritime community.
A Bipartite Wage Negotiation Committee (BWNC) consisting of representatives of Management and the Federations of Port and Dock workers was earlier constituted by Ministry of Shipping in January 2007. The BWNC held about 20 meetings on wage related matters of Port & Dock employees/workers. During negotiations, while Management, inter alia had offered a fitment benefit of 18% of Pay plus Dearness Pay plus Dearness Allowance, the Unions were insisting on fitment benefit of 34%. Being dissatisfied with management offer, the Unions had threatened to go on strike on or after 15.9.2009.
The Minister of Shipping intervened in the matter and held a meeting yesterday to discuss the matter with the Trade Unions, Ministry officials and IPA. After having extensive day long discussions, the impasse was broken when the Minister offered a fitment benefit of 23% to the Federations.
The Federations expressed their happiness and thanked the Minister, the Minister of State, Ministry officials and IPA for showing the pragmatism in resolving this important matter.