New Delhi: Trade unions from Kerala have teamed up to oppose Navy`s decision to keep Cochin Shipyard Limited out of a tender process to build four large warships expected to be worth over Rs 20,000 crore.
The representatives of the trade unions affiliated to political parties have now decided to move Defence Minister A K Antony, who will be in Kochi tomorrow to commission a Coast Guard warship.
"We are ready to take up any challenge and meet any deadline at the CSL. We are opposing the decision by the Navy to issue the tender only to the private shipyards and will meet Antony to make our representation on the issue," R Chandrasekharan, Kerala State President of the INTUC said.
The Navy has issued a tender to build four 20,000 tonne warships called the Landing Platform Decks (LPDs) and given it to private sector shipyards Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering and ABG Shipyard.
According to the plan, the first two ships would be built by the private shipyard in collaboration with a foreign partner and the remaining two would be built at the Hindustan Shipyard Limited on the nomination basis.
"The CSL was also not considered for building the ships on the nomination basis despite the fact that we are building the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier," Chandrasekharan said.
Union Food Minister K V Thomas is also understood to have forwarded grievances of the state trade unions and the shipyard in this regard to the Defence Ministry.
The Left parties and trade unions affiliated to them have also expressed their views against the Navy`s decision to keep the CSL out of the mega project.
The trade unions are demanding that the Ministry should have a rethink over the issue and allow it also to take part in the tender.
The CSL is a shipyard under the Shipping Ministry and has been involved in the IAC project for the last many years.