Seafarers aboard SCI ships go on a hunger strike
Over 200 Indian seafarers working aboard 15 ships owned and operated by Government of India owned, The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) have gone on a hunger strike with immediate effect.
The agitating seafarers have also approached, India’s largest and oldest trade union, National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) for an urgent intervention and pressing assistance.
Mr Abdulgani Serang, General Secretary cum Treasurer, NUSI, “Our trade union has assured full support to the agitating seafarers. Unfortunately, SCI has yet not implemented the latest National Maritime Board India agreement which was signed on April 2, 2016 in spite of our repeated advice and communication.”
The latest National Maritime Board India agreement assures 30% increment in wages and payment of the past arrears to the Indian seafarers. This agreement was signed by NUSI and the Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA).
“All members of INSA have executed the clauses of National Maritime Board India’s latest agreement. However, SCI has not yet implemented the agreed clauses although being a member of INSA. The seafarers were assured that SCI will implement the revised wages and also the arrears after the SCI Board of Directors meeting held on 26th May, 2016. We regret to note that SCI deliberately did not discuss and formalize the revised wages and arrears payable to seafarers in their Board meeting. This has led to serious situation and seafarers have already started agitation on board the SCI ships namely M.V. Goa, M.T. Swarna Godavari, Col. S.P. Wahi, M.T. Desh Gaurav, SCI Urza, M.V. SCI Mukta, SCI Ratna, R.V. Samudra Kaustubh, M.T. Desh Suraksha, GTV Samudra Sarvekshak, SCI Johnson, etc,” added Mr Serang.
The first National Maritime Board of India agreement was signed in 1957 and since then, both INSA and NUSI have been signing the revised agreements at regular intervals for protecting the financial rights of Indian seafarers.