APM Terminals’ management in India’s Port of Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru) has appealed to local trade union and political groups to help restore normal operations at the terminal.
The move comes after labor federations issued a call to shut down operations at Nehru’s largest container facility starting Oct. 8 if four suspended workers are not reinstated.
“The terminal is presently facing financial loss due to a tariff reduction by port regulator Tariff Authority for Major Ports and shift of business to Gujarat ports and, therefore, such strikes will only further impact business and the livelihood of families in the area,” APMT Mumbai said.
The terminal authority said the disciplinary action followed an “illegal flash strike” by a small group of dockers May 30. “Given the seriousness of the offence and misconduct, the company took immediate action against three workmen and one supervisor,” it said.
Officials said the company employs over 500 people directly and 2,000 indirectly, mostly “project-affected persons” from the area.
APMT is one of three container-handling facilities in Nhava Sheva Port, which accounts for more than half of India’s total containerized traffic. The private terminal moved 1.89 million 20-foot equivalent units in fiscal 2011-12, which ended March 31, up from 1.85 million TEUs a year earlier.
Nehru dockworkers staged a four-day shutdown campaign in March over delays in settling compensation packages for project-affected persons, costing the port authority over $30 million in lost business. The impasse was resolved after the government ordered the port authority to release 274 acres of land for the purpose of settlement.