Claiming that the future of about one million families associated with the Container Corporation (Concor) is in danger after the Centre’s proposal for strategic sale of the Navaratna PSU under the Ministry of Railways, the Concor Employees Union has decided to launch nationwide protests and is even mulling an indefinite strike.
After meeting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and BJP general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh, the leaders of the union have decided to approach central trade unions, political parties, public personalities such as Baba Ramdev and civil society organisations against the Centre’s move.
Talking to BusinessLine, the Union’s president Binay Kumar Choudhary said Concor is the only navratna PSU with the Railways and it is a profit-making and high-performing organisation and the decision to sell its stakes will help private players to control exports and imports. Chowdhury said the union fears that corruption could be a motive behind the decision.
“The Dedicated Freight Corridors will be a reality within a few months. After that the market value of Concor will increase from the present ₹34,733 crore to about ₹70,000- 1-lakh crore because all our container terminals are strategically located in the vicinity of the dedicated freight corridors. News reports say that the Centre wants to raise about ₹7,000-8,000 crore from the strategic sale,” Chowdhary said.
The union leaders said Rahul Gandhi and Santhosh have offered their help.
They point out that sale of Concor will have an impact on national security too. “It provides a safe mode for movement of security related items such as currency notes, nuclear fuel, defence related items, etc,” they said. They urged the Centre to reconsider the decision. The Union has also approached the Regional Labour Commissioner that the proposal is against labour laws as the stakeholders have not been consulted about the strategic sale.
Gandhi said in Twitter after meeting the Union leaders that crony friends of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are interested in Concor. “Highly profitable & strategic, the Container Corporation (CONCOR) is a PSU jewel that some of the PM’s greedy crony capitalist friends are hungry for & the Govt plans to sell,” he tweeted.
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