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Tool-Down strike at Haldia Dock Complex

Tool-Down strike at Haldia Dock Complex

Workers at Haldia Dock Complex of Kolkata Port Trust staged a successful tool-down strike on August 3, 2011 from 2 pm - 6 pm. This action by more than 2,000 workers brought the port operations to a stand-still. The workers organised under the banner of Haldia Dock Complex Contrators' Sramik Union are protesting against the illegal termination of 60 workers of the Haldia Dock Complex (P & E Division) who were working last five years at Berth No 10 Rubber Tyred Yard Gantry Cranes (RTYGC).

The 60 workers have been working for the last 5 years. These jobs are of regular and permanent nature of work . They are recruited by port and put under the contractors. There has been changes of contractors, twice in the last 5 years but these workers have continued to be in work under successive contractors. They were employed in the container yard for loading and unloading of containers.

The contract of the previous contractor terminated on June 30, 2011 and on July 1, 2011 Land- Marine Equipment Services Private Limited from Mumbai assumed charge of the Operation & Maintenance of four Rubber Tyred Yard Gantry Cranes, at Container Parking Yard of Haldia Dock Complex. Immediately they terminated all 60 workers of the RTYGC. This is illegal under Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970 and Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 . The work is currently being managed by 15 workers brought from outside.

The 60 workers have started a sit-in-demonstration at the gate since their termination. The port authorities moved to the office of Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) to settle the matter. After a conciliation meeting on July 20, 2011 the Additional Labour Commissioner strongly expressed that these workers cannot be terminated and they must be reinstated within 7 days. The representative of the port authority in fact expressed his satisfaction at the performance of the 60 workers. The port authorities as the principal employer are still to implement the advices of the ALC.

A bilateral meeting took place on July 18, between the union and Land- Marine Equipment Services Private Limited in the presence of the local Member of Parliament where it was mutually decided that all workers would be taken back. However, the contor has violated the above decision. The principal employer, i.e. The port authorities have remained silent on the issue.

The workers of the Haldia Dock Complex are prepared to launch further struggles for their demands which might lead to an indefinite strike if their demands are not met within that time. There might be attacks on them from the contractor, the port authorities, the administration, police, local politicians and their goons. Already there have been instances of threats and intimidation against the workers during the tool-down strike.

We count on your support and solidarity to make this struggle successful.

Please send press statements in solidarity with the struggle. Letters to the Chairman of Kolkata Port Trust, M L Meena, Fax:(91-33) 2230-4901, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Dy. Chairman, HDC, Kolkata Port Trust Manish Jain Fax: (91-03224) 264877 & (91-033) 2230-5438 e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional letters and faxes to the Minister of Shipping, G K Vasan,  Fax: +91 11 2335 6709, Mukul Roy, MoS, Fax: +91 11 2373 0084 and the Secretary, K Mohandas, Fax: +91 11 2371 6656.