After a 20-year gap,JK jute mill to open today

The 20-year wait for the former employees of Juggilal Kamlapat Cotton Spinning and Weaving Mill is about to end.

Written by Kautilya Singh | Kanpur | Published: January 19, 2009 1:32 am

The 20-year wait for the former employees of Juggilal Kamlapat Cotton Spinning and Weaving Mill is about to end. The management has finally announced that the mill will reopen on January 19.

In a span of three months,this mill will be the second major industrial unit of Kanpur to be revived — largely through the efforts of management and the employees.

On October 20,2008,the city had witnessed the re-opening of JK Jute Mill after a 5-year hiatus.

Smiles returned on the faces of thousands of former employees,who,with bated breath,are waiting for the clock to strike 1 pm on Monday — the scheduled timing for the re-opening.

But a majority of them will have to wait a month,as the management has decided to carry out a cleanliness and maintenance drive first. For this phase,only a skeleton staff will be recruited.

“Machines are lying unused for 20 years,and within the unit,several repair works have to be completed,” said Rajesh Agarwal,General Manager of the mill. The management has already applied for electricity connection and is optimistic of getting it within the next few weeks.

A registration form is being issued to the former employees of the mill who are willing to continue working for the unit. “Over the last 20 years,some of the former employees have expired. Others have crossed the retirement age,” said Agarwal. “We have asked the former employees who are willing to work with us to submit the registration form.”

If required,the mill will also hire fresh hands. “With the global economic meltdown casting its shadow on most countries,it is heartening to see the revival of two major industrial units in Kanpur,” Agarwal said.

Realising the importance of re-opening of the unit,the employees’ unions,too,played a positive role.

The Secretary of JK Cotton Sharmik Sangh,Keshari Narain Maurya,said: “Old issues and differences caused problems for the management and the employees. So we decided that it would be wiser to make sincere efforts to re-start the unit.”

Over the last six months,the union had several meetings with District Magistrate Anil Kumar Sagar and Labour Commissioner Sitaram Mee-na to make repeated requests for the re-opening of the unit. “Revival of JK Jute Mill served an inspiration for us,and we are pleased that our efforts have paid off,” Maurya added.

THE CASE HISTORY

In 1989,the JK Group had opted for a lockout following largescale labour unrest. It had left 4,200 people jobless.

Terming the lockout illegal,the state government had intervened and the mill was sealed. Over the past years,several rounds of discussions between the management and employees union remained fruitless.

The employees took the issue to Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction. In 2008,the board approved the mill revival plan,following which both management and employees speeded up their campaign to re-start the mill. On October 24,2008,the state government lifted the seal.

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