Dunlop Chairman Pawan Ruia meets Labour Minister

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Kolkata, Nov 24 (UNI) As production in Sahagunj unit remained suspended, Dunlop Chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia today met West Bengal Labour Minister Mrinal Banerjee, apprising him of the situation that stopped work and seeking Government endorsement of the pay-cut.

'' I apprised the Minister of the present situation. I have told him that I want to come to an agreement with the workers' unions on the decisions we have taken, '' he told reporters after a 20-minute meting with Mr Banerjee.

Mr Ruia's visit to the state Secretariat came a day after he asserted that production in Sahagunj had been stopped only for a temporary period and that the unit was not heading for a permanent closure.

He said the Labour Minister, in all probability, would talk to the representatives of the Dunlop Workers' unions tomorrow to elicit their views on the management's decision to stop production and offer a monthly subsistence of Rs. 2,000 each to 1,171 workers.

The management halted production for an indefinite period in the Shagunj unit on November 18 on the ground of the global economic meltdown.

Claiming that the decision had been taken well in consultation with the leaders of the Workers' unions, the company had said it would utilise the interim period before resuming work in recasting production and changing the product mix.

However, the INTUC and CITU unions of Dunlop later backed out from signing an agreement complaining that there was no appropriate representative of the management present for striking the deal.

Yesterday, Mr Ruia had said he was looking for a Bank loan of Rs 70 crore as part of the working capital, sales tax exemption and a revised productivity norm for workers before resuming production.

He, However, emphasised that production could resme anytime between the the next two weeks to three months.

While Dunlop's Ambattur unit in Tamil Nadu remained closed for long, the Sahagunj unit was carrying on operation stabilising production, at about 40 ton against a capacity of 90 ton. The product-mix comprised OTR (off-the-road) tyres and truck tyres.

Formerly belonging to the Manu Chhabaria group, Dunlop plants remained under closure for five years before it changed hands to the Ruias and production in Sahagunj restarted only on January 14 last year.


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