In a letter written to Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, the All India Seafarer and General Workers Union said that China is not allowing any ships with Indian crew to enter its water. (Representative image: AP)
China has imposed an unofficial ban on Indian sailors and not allowing ships with Indian crew to enter its port, claimed a seafarer workers’ union. This has led the Indian sailors to lose their jobs as companies are not recruiting them on China-bound commercial vessels, it said.
In a letter written to Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, the All India Seafarer and General Workers Union said that China is not allowing any ships with Indian crew to enter its water and as a result, “approximately 20,000 seafarers” are facing job losses.
The union further requested the higher authorities to look into the issues and requested them to save the jobs of Indian sailors. “All India Seafarer Union requesting to all the higher authorities to look into this serious issue and help us to save the job of our seafarer brothers,” the letter read.
In talks with the Times of India, the union talked about the letter it has written on the unofficial “ban” on Indian seafarers from entering Chinese waters.
Abhijeet Sangle, working president of the Union, claimed it to be China’s tactic to isolate Indian seafarers in order to provide better prospects to its sailors.
Besides Sonowal, the union has also written to the directorate general of shipping and the ministry of external affairs to seriously look into the issue. “In fact, I have sent a letter to foreign minister S Jaishankar separately, requesting him to take immediate action,” Sangle told the publication.
Some Indian sailors faced a similar issue earlier in 2021 when China did not allow two foreign ships with them onboard to berth at its port, he said. “As a result of which our crew of over 40 members was stranded off China for several weeks,” Sangle said.
However, DG (Shipping) Amitabh Kumar said that they have not received any official communication from either the Chinese government or the ministry of external affairs about any such ban, said the report.
“Our data doesn’t suggest anything of that sort. These are personal views of some people. We can't keep reacting to everyone's views,” Kumar told the publication.
MEA sources also denied of having any knowledge of the letter, the report said.