CSL incurs loss of Rs 80 crore as workers strike continues

KOCHI: Public sector Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) has incurred a loss of Rs 80 crore so far due to the 19-day old strike by contract workers demanding wage hike , company sources today said.

The work on the country’s first indigenious Air Defence ship being built at the shipyard had also been hit due to the strike in which about 2,000 workers under the aegis of Cochin Shipyard workers Union are participating, they said.

A lot of export orders for platform supply vessels and ship repair orders would also be hit, the sources said.

Ship building and ship repair projects, both labour intensive and time bound, had been affected.

A CSL release said delayed delivery of vessels results in cost escalation and liquidated damages.

The workers, employed by 170 small and big contractors, are on the strike since May 28 to press their demands relating to wage revision and other terms and conditions of employment.

The dispute is between contractors of shipyard represented by Cochin Shipyard Contractors Federation and their workmen represented by CITU-controlled Cochin Shipyard Workers Union.

The CSL is not a direct party to the dispute, but is an affected party being the principal employer, the release said.

The bilateral agreement between the federation and union in this regard was due for revision since Jan 1 last year.

The union has insisted that unless the CSL gave a commitment to pay gratuity amount to the contract workers engaged by the union-sponsored contractors, the strike will not be called off.

Though the management assured the union that this would be addressed separately provided the workers complied with statutory legal obligations, the union did not accept it.

The union’s ‘unjustifiable’ stand was threatening to harm the prospects of CSL and the livelihood of the around 2,000 workers, the release added.
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