CHI - Some 7,500 seamen are at the dearth of financial constraints as Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) will be left with just one oil-tanker in its fleet by June next year. However, 4 institutes in the country keep producing seamen without considering such fact, TheNation learnt.
Currently, the PNSC has a fleet of 11 ships and 3,500 permanent seamen on its roaster, while one ships crew comprises of 22 people. The seamen have to spend 9 months on a ship and then get second turn after 2 and a half year, resultantly they have nothing left in the profession not only such condition but due to the fact that shipping lines prefer taking Labour from Bangladesh and Philippines.
The shipping companies, all over the world have announced not giving jobs to seamen above the age of 50, yet any sort of apparent disability is another deficiency by which any roaster seaman loses opportunity to go on ship because the shipping lines do not want to bear any loses by taking any stays due to any mishap happens to its crew members.
On the other hand, seamen, working on contract basis at PNSC, alleged that the authority is involved in maltreatment of seamen in every respect and also take Rs 1,50,000 for appointing them on ships besides abolishing their quota.
While talking to this scribe, Tahir Shah, representative of seamen, said that the brokers of PNSC asked the seaman to pay Rs 1,50,000 if he wishes to have his appointment on ships, and if one refuses to pay the money they let him to suffer. Moreover, the PNSC administration has also abolished the quota of roaster seamen which is sheer injustice.
Not a single roaster seaman has been made permanent since 1987, resultantly the seaman is suffering from financial turmoil for 10 years, besides the appointments have only made on political basis and nepotism is continuously in practice, he claimed.
When contacted, the PNSC spokesperson said that besides deep crisis of shipping industry in Pakistan, the CBA panels of seamen are responsible for miseries of the seaman as they are continually involve in fighting each other and pressurising the authority to appoint their panels seamen on ships.
He further said that due such non-professional attitude, the Supreme Court has issued orders that no body from those panels is allowed to enter the premises of PNSC. Yet we have asked them to hold elections and whoever wins will be allowed to hod negotiations with the authority over issues the seaman confronted, he added.
He denied the allegation that the authority is involved in taking money, through its agents, to send roaster seamen on ships, and said that only those seamen are putting such allegations against the authority out of anger who are not getting selected for such appointments in this period of recession. While Isa Junejo, Mohammad Farooq, and Mohammad Moosa of roaster seamen body said that the roaster seaman is victim of the PNSC as they have to face discrimination and injustice at every step. Therefore, they urged that the Ports and Shipping Minister to take notice of the deteriorated situation and give some remedial incentives to the roaster seaman.
They appealed to the governmental not to push the families of hundreds of seamen to starvation and provide them with justice.