Port Blair, Dec 20: The General Body meeting of the Hinterland Seamen Union (CITU) was held at Port Blair recently under the chairmanship of TK Khalil. Addressing the meeting, D. Ayyappan, Vice President, CITU A & N State Committee briefly explained the difficulties being faced by the seamen working in the vessels owned and operated by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration. He said that the seamen in the inter-island sector were getting the wages fixed about 14 years back and there has been no wage revision for the seamen since then. He further pointed out that the central government is going ahead with its proclaimed policy of privatization, casualisation and contractorisation of the government sector.
Addressing the meeting, R. Surendran Pillai, President, CITU State Committee briefly explained the movements conducted by the seamen in these islands in the past and expressed concern over the fact that the genuine demands of the seamen are kept pending by the authorities.
TK Khalil, senior Seamen leader of these islands called upon the seamen in the islands to rally behind the CITU unions to fight for their demands. P. Sathyapal, Secretary, CITU A & N State Committee also spoke on the occasion.
The General Body meeting elected new office bearers and Executive Committee Members. D. Ayyappan has been elected as the President of the Hinterland Seamen Union while Samshad Malik and P. Sathyapal have been elected as Vice President and General Secretary respectively. Devarajan Santhosh Kumar, Ajish Prasad and Mohd Rafiq have been elected as Treasurer, Joint Secretary and Organising Secretary respectively of the Union.
The General Body meeting through a resolution urged upon the authorities in the Administration to initiate the process of Wage Settlement of Seamen working in the vessels owned and controlled by the Shipping Department of A & N Administration without any further delay. The meeting further urged upon the A & N Administration to grant Interim Relief of appropriate amount to all the seamen pending wage settlement.