Barge workers up the ante over wage implementation

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Vasco: United Bargemen Association (UBA) has demanded that the state government implement wage settlement for barge workers that was agreed to in 2007 failing which they will not take into consideration the 2012, 2017, 2021 charter of rates with the iron ore exporters.

Addressing media persons in Vasco recently, UBA president Puti Gaonkar said, “Facilities like 16 days on and 14 days off and a particular scale of salaries were decided to be paid by barge owners in the 2007 charter of rates, but they have not been fully implemented.”

Gaonkar said that it was his duty to ensure that the barge workers get proper pay scale.

On the other hand, UBA general secretary Nivrutti Kuncalienker said, “Every barge worker should get a good scale of pay but barge owners had not implemented the rates and without an assurance from Goa barge owners of implementation of 2007 rates, they would not go ahead to discuss the freight charges of barges with the exporters.”

Former president of Goa Barge Owners Association (GBOA) Atul Jadhav said that with closure of mining they could not implement the rates. He however assured that they will hold a meeting with their association members and take up the issue.

“If the mining activity was resumed, there would be a bigger cash flow and the rates could be implemented,” added Jadhav.

Meanwhile, ex-city ward councillor Krishna Salkar congratulated the UBA for opening a new hall and said that there has to be coordination between owners and workers so that there is growth in business that can eventually boost the economy of the state.