Durgapur, Mar 12 (UNI) The Durga Hi-tech Cement manufacturing plant remained closed since last evening after a suspension order was served to the employees of the plant.
On March 4, suspension orders were served to the INTUC-affiliated workers's Union of the plant after they insisted that the promised number of employees be absorbed by the management.
In 2006, when the Birla Corporation-run cement plant was set up in the premises of Durgapur Cement Works(DCW), the management had assured the government and the local people to provide jobs to at least 800 unemployed local youths.
However, instead of employing more people, they decided to downsize the existing employees from the slag DCW cement manufacturing unit. In fact, they were utilising the same workers for the two plants, instead of setting up new plant in a separate location.
The workers went on an agitation since November 2006, demanding an increase in employment among the local youth and increase of wages.
To deal with the situation, the mangement released Rs 1,500 as ex-gratia to the workers of the Durgapur Cement Works manufacturing unit.
Later on, the managment had, in a strange twist of events, deducted the amount from their wages.
Moreoever, in January this year, the management assured to employ 33 unskilled and 13 skilled labour. However, by February, they withdrew all their promises.
When the workers protested, Deputy Labour Commission officer Pashupati Ghosh asked the management to resolve the issue with the trade union of the cement plant workers.
In retaliation, the management withdrew all their promises and decided to suspend work on March 4, which came into effect last night, when the authorities shut down the plant and left a suspension order outside the factory campus.
General Secretary of INTUC-affiliated DCW Workers's Union Bikas Ghatak said, ''The suspension is an illegal act on behalf of the management.'' DCW and Durga Hi-tech cement factory employees' union member Haradhan Sain said, ''In spite of the good work fettered out by the workers, all they got in return is this punishment.'' Meanwhile, Joint President of the DCW P C Mathur said, ''Although, we have served a suspension order, work will continue at Durga Hi-tech Cement Factory.
The workers have been waiting outside the gates of the factory, as meetings are being held at the Labour Commissioner's office at the state capital Kolkata.
The final meeting between the mangement and the trade unions will be held at Labour Minister's office.
UNI XC LL MSJ RN1828