Following Monday’s meeting between the Indian Ports Association (IPA) and officials from the Ministry of Labor, a nationwide indefinite strike affecting ports in India was postponed. The strike, originally scheduled for April 19, 2017, is now scheduled to take effect on May 12, 2017.
The strike action stems from disapproval of the Major Ports Authority Bill 2016, “which has been fast-tracked by the government in order to attract more private investment and enhance port efficiency. The bill would eventually lead to total privatization of India’s major ports and their roughly 50,000 workers” (JOC). Officials representing the dockworkers are calling for sweeping changes that would protect the interests of the ports and workers.
Should pending talks fail between the IPA and India Labor Commission it would mark the second nationwide stoppage at major ports in the past two years. Additionally, the threat of strike “comes as India’s exports are accelerating thanks to port productivity gains and a gradual pickup in domestic manufacturing output. India’s outbound trade jumped 24.5 percent year-over-year to $29.2 billion in March, while total exports during fiscal year 2016 to 2017 through the end of March reached $274.6 billion, up 4.7 percent from the prior year, according to preliminary statistics released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry” (JOC).
The ports that may be impacted by a nationwide strike include Kolkata, Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Tuticorin, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Kandla and Marmugao.
Deringer will continue to monitor the situation and will advise of any further developments. Please send an email to Deringer’s Marketing Department with any questions.