The workers of Naval Dockyard Mumbai are on a Flash Strike since Thursday, August 9, 2018 after a spat of logic defying and silly decisions by the Western Command of Naval Administration. One of the main grouse of the workers was arbitrary and unilateral withdrawal of Cashless Facility of their Mediclaim Policy. The Union has claimed that this decision was taken by the Administration without taking the Unions into confidence and was taken despite stiff opposition from all the employees and unions as well.

The Unions recall that the Cashless facility was introduced a few years back after a lot of difficulty and at that time, the bio-matric details of all the employees as well as the family members covered under the scheme had to be taken and provided and this led to lot of difficulties, especially for employees who had families outside of Mumbai. Despite the hardships, the cashless facility was finally introduced and was seen as a boon.

In a city like Mumbai or any other metro city for that matter, rising medical costs are a prime concern among employees, and every one dreads sudden illness or hospitalization in the family. In such situations, having cashless mediclaim facility provides a peace of mind to the employees as well as their family members and this in turn has direct impact on their well being and productivity. Therefore, despite the hardships, the workers were pleased when Cashless Mediclaim facility was introduced.

Now this sudden decision by the Management to withdraw this facility suddenly leaves a bad taste in the mouth as well as evokes suspicions. Why was this decision taken unilaterally? Why were the Unions as well as the relevant committes not consulted? Were employees taken into confidence? The decision is completely one sided and evokes of elitism as the Management has not shown any sympathy to the plight of the employees.

To protest this decision, the workers have gone on a flash strike, but there seems to be no resolution as yet. The Management does not seem to be keen to look at an amicable resolution for this problem and is hoping to pressurize the workers to accept this decision and get away with it. The Unions on the other hand have vowed to oppose this decision tooth and nail. In the mean time, regular work carried out at Naval Dockyard, including upkeep of naval ships will be affected due to this strike, which has a direct bearing on National Security of the Country.

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