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Union Minister faces protest at HSL
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Visakhapatnam, May 31, 2007
Protests mar safe delivery of 'Good Providence'
Just minutes before the chief guest, Union Minister for Shipping an Surface Transport, TR Balu arrived at HSL to deliver the merchant ship 'Good Providence' , a large number of workers affiliated to Staff and Workers Union gathered at the jetty and raised slogans in protest against the plan to hand over HSL to Navy. He was mobbed by the workers and the attempts to submit a memorandum were foiled by the police.
Balu went around the ship along with the HSL Chairman and MD Ajit Tewari and GML Chairman PB Anandam. After witnessing the exchange of protocol, between the top two executives of HSL and GML in the ship cabin, he hurriedly returned and left the place without unveiling the plaque and addressing the customary meeting.
The main demands of the workers include retention of HSL in public sector, regularization of children of medically unfit, revision of wages and deceased employees working in HSL for the past two decades. In an information chat with the media, he said that the capital restructuring plan for HSL was under consideration of the Union Cabinet and decision would be taken soon. After the Union Minister Balu left to catch the flight to Delhi, the Minister of State for Mines T Subbi Rami Reddy came and uncovered the plaque. He said the revival package of HSL was being examined by a group of ministers.
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