Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rivalry between NUSI, FSUI continue to dog seafarers’ wage negotiations

By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express on March 3, 2012:

The issue of wages for seafarers, which was hanging on fire for the past two years, though looked finally solved last week, it took a dramatic turn at the end of the negotiations after one of the prominent unions refused to sign the agreement initiated by National Maritime Board (NMB) citing raw deal.
After several rounds of negotiations and legal wrangling in Bombay High Court over the last two years, NMB brought in a comprehensive industry-wide wage agreement for the Petty Officers & Ratings working on Indian flagships on Foreign Going (FG), Offshore Supply Vessels (OSV) and Home Trade ships (HT) during a ‘final negotiation’ held at Mumbai about a week ago.
Though NMB expected the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) and Forward Seamen's Union of India (FSUI), the two prominent unions representing 20,000-odd seafarers in the country, would sign it, only NUSI signed the agreement while FSUI refused to sign it citing a raw deal.
With the FSUI walking out of the negotiations, the union’s members resorted to a flash strike (on the night of February 24) and it has forced the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) to knock the door of Bombay High Court for remedy.
After hearing the SCI’s petition, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Union Government to set up a tribunal to look into the applicability of the seafarers wage agreement concluded on February 24 within eight weeks. 
Speaking to Express, Naresh Birwadkar, Secretary of FSUI, said, “We refused to sign the agreement as it has several anti-seamen conditions including the improper wage structure and unacceptable moratorium for wage increase for 2010-11.”
FSUI also accused that NUSI once again showed that it is against the interest of the seafarers onboard the ship.
However, NUSI refuted the FSUI’s accusations of going against the interest of seafarers.
We signed the agreement as NUSI felt that the long pending NMB agreement should be concluded at the earliest in the larger interest of the shipping fraternity,” Abdulgani Y Serang, it’s general secretary-cum-treasurer, told Express.
With the NMB’s wage agreement once again into the legal quagmire, more than 20,000 seafarers are forced to wait for few more months for any improvement in their wages.


  1. It is very horrible that mr. naresh is talking about anti seaman agreement as he is big fraud and from a seaman he turned as million-er with in sort period, from where did money comes from i request all my brothers to raise their flag against their culprit leaders then only they will get good agreement??????????/

  2. Hi,
    I think Both of these National Union of Seafarers of India (Nusi) and Forward Seamen's Union of India (FSUI) - agreed to the proposal to set up tribunal, both of them seem to have developed cold feet and have since gone on their separate ways.
    Shipping to India

  3. I agree with Mr. Rizwan Khan who dare to put on truth even i am a seafarer and my job is trapped by Mr. Naresh too.

  4. HI
    I wont't agree with manish that only Mr. Naresh is corrupt and other union leaders are not. even Mr. gani has also not did much for improvement of seafarers as compare to other country. I propose that Seaman is working hard on ship and their leaders are cheating them on shore so at least their senior leaders took up the matter and conduct the inquiry either by public authority or by their own system.No doubt about Naresh how he is fooling the people and making the money every body knows, what a seaman do after serving onboard he comes to home and want to spend his leave with their family not fighting with leader?

  5. Mr. saravanan this topic is quite interesting please link this post to facebook and twitter let the discussion go on with more and more seafarers opinion on this issue.

  6. people should think on this issue this corruption is every where its not limited up to shipping, all the mazdoor should come to gather to fight with this corrupt leaders.