After the sale of the Great Eastern Hotel in 2005,the West Bengal Government has the moribund state PSU,the Basumati Corporation Ltd,in its sights in 2009. But like in the case of Great Eastern,CITU,the CPI(M)’s labour wing,again stands in the way of the chief minister’s reform agenda.
The Basumati Corporation,which has accumulated losses of Rs 80 crore,is the 114-year-old publisher of the Bengali vernacular daily Basumati.
The Government put up the notice for closure of the unit on November 18 last year and offered ERS to its 212 employees. The last date for accepting the ERS offer is February 28,2009. After February 28,salaries to the employees will be stopped, Dilip Chakrabarty,Principal Secretary,Department of Information and Culture,which runs the corporation,told The Indian Express.
Incidentally,the Department is under Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
The CITU has said that it would fight tooth and nail to stop the closure of the unit. It has teamed up with the Trinamool Congress and the Pragatishil Indira Congress of Somen Mitra in this mission.
What the government is doing is most arbitrary and unjust. They could have run the organisation with at least 80-90 employees and given ERS to the rest. They did not talk to the unions before taking the decision of closure. Our government is not protecting the interests of the workers, said Mihir Chakrabarty,vice-president,Basumati Corporation Employees Union.