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Andhra Pradesh - Visakhapatnam Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Job aspirants to intensify stir against VPT

By Our Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM, JULY 17. About 1,500 persons, who have been waiting for 10 years to be appointed in the Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) on compassionate grounds, are planning to intensify their agitation demanding that they be employed at least on contract basis or as casual workers.

They criticised the VPT management for not filling up vacancies in Group III and IV services since 1998 and getting the work done through contract staff. Though the port was doing well, it implemented voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to reduce the number of employees from 11,558 to 5,600affecting work at the port on one hand and employment opportunities on the other, they said.

As many as 1,858 employees either died or were invalidated three to 12 years before their actual age of superannuation. The VPT prepared a list of their dependants for employment on compassionate grounds in 1997. But it has provided jobs only to 350 persons in the list and stopped appointments since 1998 even though there were many vacancies in Group III and IV posts, the agitators said.

Earlier, the Centre had appointed a tribunal to determine the strength of employees in major ports on one hand and on the other issued orders to the Port Trusts to reduce manpower, they said.

While granting VRS to some, excess posts were abolished by VPT in the name of "matching savings" much to the dismay of candidates in the master list.

Though the Government had stated that matching savings should be observed only in the case of senior level officers, the VPT applied it in other posts too. While 2,116 employees took VRS, more than 3700 posts were scrapped.

The works to be done by regular employees are being done by contract workers. Most of the employees who took VRS are being reinstated in the same post on contract basis on consolidated salary denying opportunity to master list candidates, they allege.

The master list candidates demanded that the VPT get permission from the Central Government and fill up existing vacancies in Group III and IV posts from the master list immediately and alleviate the miseries of families, which had toiled for its cause.

The VPT should employ them as contract or casual workers till they are appointed on regular basis, they demanded.

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