Statement in support of the Dock worker’s strike
April 6, 2011 1 Comment
After failed negotiations between the government and the representative bodies of the dock workers, five major federations representing 60000 dockworkers across India have decided to go on strike this 6th of April. The strike will be a nationwide strike encompassing workers in all major ports of the country. We, the New Wave group whole heartedly support the strike action called by the Dock workers.
Against Government plans for corporatizing ports!
The Core reason for this strike action has been the government move to corporatize the major ports of India along the model of Ennore port. The move comes after the workers through great struggle won several wage benefits and work related benefits as part of an agreement under a Bilateral wage settlement mechanism in 2010. The new move towards corporatizing will be an attack against the port workers aiming to mull these benefits achieved after much struggle. In addition to endangering worker’s job security, it would negatively affect the running of the ports themselves. The RK Jain committee recommendations are a clear tactic to target the landmark achievement of the workers. Whilst the original deal itself has issues relating to promotional benefits, the benefits which did accrue (including various wage increment schemes) are under threat.
Why is the government corporatizing the ports?
Under Capitalism the bourgeois always seeks ways and avenues to expand its ambit of exploitation and new avenues to raise the rate of profit. The corporatization of major ports in India is one such step in this direction. No doubt, this also has in mind the recent victories of the dock workers and the effort to undermine them. If the government is allowed to go ahead with its plans for corporatization it will ultimately benefit the capitalist to the detriment of the workers and the public at large. BSNL is an ideal example of how a government corporation can be weakened to the point of selling out by such a corporatization action. The ports will not fare any better. No surprise then that the government saw it fit to ride roughshod over the concerns of the workers and implement its corporatization scheme. The ports as well as transport as a whole are a key public asset which must be defended from the interests of private capital as well as their bureaucratic agents who are interested in weakening them. The success of the Dockers struggle is going to be of decisive importance.
We Demand: –
A moratorium on all plans for Corporatization of Ports!
For a democratic functioning of decision making in all matters relating to Port development involving Rank and File Workers!
A secure wage agreement! And a mechanism to ensure the gains of the 2010 wage agreement!