The wages of port and dock workers are revised once in five years after their wage revision was de-linked from other central government employees in 1969
At least 36,000 workers in 12 major ports may get 10.6 percent wage hike for a five-year period beginning January 1, 2017 after the Bipartite Wage Negotiation Committee agreed to the increase, Business Line reported.The committee comprises representatives from the Indian Ports Association (IPA) and the five workers’ unions at major port trusts.
"A wage increase of 10.6 percent is a very fair and reasonable settlement in the present scenario when the port trusts are going through a tough time,” T Narendra Rao, General Secretary, Water Transport Workers’ Federation of India, told the paper.
An employee at the lowest level will get a wage hike of Rs 3,000 while a worker at the highest level (excluding officers) would get as much as Rs 10,000 hike.
The ministry has formed a committee to draft the wage settlement, which will be signed in Mumbai in the first week of August, Rao said.
Earlier, the port management had sought to revise the wages once in 10 years to be in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission for Central Government employees. The proposal, however, was opposed by the worker’s unions.
The workers will receive arrears for the past 18 months from January 1, 2017.
The wage revision comes at a time when the worker's unions ended a 15-day campaign from June 28. The workers had been campaigning “to create awareness among port workers on certain basic issues pertaining to port and dock workers and industry. And, prepare them for a mass struggle against the ongoing anti-workers and anti-people policies of the government”, Rao said.
During the campaign, the unions urged the government to scrap the plan to convert ‘port trusts’ into ‘authorities’ by enacting the Major Port Authorities Bill. The unions expressed concerns that it may lead to 'privatisation' of the major ports.Other demands of the unions include a centrally-operated common pension fund for all major ports to ensure uninterrupted pension payments.