After about three months of suspension of work, the Dum Dum unit of Jessop and Co was reopened Saturday at a function attended by the chairman of the group, Pawan Ruia, state industry minister Amit Mitra, labour minister Malay Ghatak and Trinamool MP from Dum Dum Saugata Roy.
Senior CITU leader Subhash Mukherjee said it was due to the joint effort of the labour union and the initiative of Ghatak that helped in resumption of work at the Ruia Group-led engineering company.
“For the first two months, there would be maintenance work and normal work would begin after that. If maintenance work is completed before that, normal work may resume. Workers had been paid a month’s salary and the management has agreed to clear all backlog in 24 instalments,” Malay Ghatak said, adding it was good that the factory reopened before the pujas.
A committee, headed by a member of West Bengal State Productivity Council and comprising two members of every union at the unit, two representatives of the management, two representatives of the government and two from the labour commission would decide on the productivity of the available workforce of the unit.
The workers would be given specific targets to be achieved as part of the agreement for opening of the factory.
Ghatak also said upon his suggestion, chairman Ruia had agreed to put up a women’s club which would be chaired by his wife and members would compromise the wives of all employees.
“They would engage themselves in several corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and welfare of the employees. This model has worked in a number of such units and he has agreed to go ahead with it,” he added.
At the function, Ruia also raised the morale of the workers with assurance of initiatives. “If efficiency level rises, I can assure you that the company will share additional profits with all of you,” he said while addressing the employees.
CITU leader Subhash Mukherjee said both the management and protesting unions had given in to some demands of each other because they had given priority to the reopening.
We had demanded 50 per cent of the outstanding salary in advance but they said they would pay in 20 instalments and we relented. They also said maintenance work would be done first with workers being utilised in rotation. We agreed to that as well. They had demanded a production guarantee. We said that was not possible and the management went back on that demand. All these were done keeping in mind that the factory should open first,” Mukherjee said.
On May 15, work at the 226-year-old factory was suspended after the management alleged hooliganism by a section of the workers.