Jessop suspended work at its 226-year-old Dum Dum factory on Thursday — just a week after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had assured the workers of looking into their concerns during an election rally on May 8. The closure has rendered 635 workers jobless.
The notice by the management of the Ruia Group-led engineering company, among other things, states it was the alleged hooliganism of a section of workers that has compelled it to close the factory.
As soon as the employees saw the “suspension of work” notice pasted on the gates of the factory, located on 70 acres of land in Dum Dum, they staged a road blockade on the busy Jessore Road leading to Calcutta airport.
The government had called for a tripartite meeting on May 19 to sort out the issue.
Minister for Labour Purnendu Bose told The Indian Express: “The Ruia Group has taken both the employees and us for a ride. They looted the assets of the company but now they are blaming the employees for the present situation. We have several options, including taking over the company,’’
Bose had Wednesday sent officials of the factory directorate to the factory to collect certain documents, like pay slips of workers, etc.
The labourers blamed the management of the company. “We have orders for railway wagons worth Rs 600 crore, we have orders for roadrollers too, but the company is not doing anything. It is only interested in using the company for real estate. We have not been receiving our salary for the last seven months. No PF or gratuity is being given,’’ Utpal Ghosh, an INTTUC leader told The Indian Express.
The leading engineerring company of eastern India, which manufactures cranes, roadrollers, railway wagons. etc, and set up in India in 1788, was taken over by the central government in 1973. However, the Ruia Group had acquired the company from the Government of India in 2003 through a disinvestment deal.