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Proposed SCI vessel tenders anger unions

Proposed SCI vessel tenders anger unions

Mumbai: Indian Seafarers' unions have written a letter of protest to Shipping Corporation of India chairman and md Sabyasachi Hajara (pictured), opposing the company's plan to tender out operation of close to 30 of its fleet, reports Maritime Global Net. The unions - including the International Transport Workers Federation-affiliated National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) and the Forward Seamen's Union of India (FSUI) - have threatened industrial action over the decision as they were not consulted during the decision making process.

NUSI general secretary Abdulgani Serang is reported as having said, ''It seems to be a hush-hush exercise that can have far-reaching detrimental effects, not only on SCI as a company but also on thousands of existing seafarers and shore staff.''

''If the SCI management does not come to the table on this issue, it is in for a shock,'' FSUI general secretary Sadhan Kanji Lal is said to have added.

This standoff comes on the heels of last week's victory for the unions, which celebrated a Bombay High Court directed increase in salaries for members in addition to restitution for sailors on board Indian flagged vessels during the period April 1, 2006 to March 31, 2008.  [19/02/08]