February 26, 2015 1:17:52 am
With its Rs 51,000-crore greenfield steel project in Orissa proving to be a non-starter even after a decade of its MoU signing, Korean steelmaker Posco has laid off around 30-odd employees in its Gurgaon-based subsidiary in the last few days.
Posco, in 2005, signed MoU with Orissa for setting up a 12-million-tonne steel plant at Paradip. But the Rs 51,000-crore project has not made any tangible progress due to several issues including resistance of a section of local people in the project area. The MoU had expired in June 21, 2010.
Posco Engineering and Construction India Pvt. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of South Korean giant, is a construction firm that looks after the company’s engineering and construction aspects. In India, the company had offices in Bhubaneswar and Gurgaon. The Bhubaneswar office, meant to look after the Orissa project, has been closed since last 3 years. The firm management handed pink slips to the 30-odd junior and mid-level staff in the Gurgaon office last week.
In separate e-mails to the laid-off employees, Posco E&C chairman I H Ok wrote that the company would “close down the services of the engineering centre by the end of March, 2015, because there were no actual projects to maintain the engineering centre”. “We all are aware of the impact this closing will have on employees and families. I am also painful to express deep regret for this situation,” the mail said. There are now 50-odd employees still working with the firm.
An employee, who was laid off, told The Indian Express that he felt cheated the way Posco management asked them to go. “We are being given just about one month of salary and no assurance of help in placement. The management is in no mood to give us some more time,” said the employee.
“Our Orissa project is not making any progress and that has impacted us a lot. We have given salaries to our staff for last several months though we did not have any projects on hand,” company managing director Jin Yeob Hwang told The Indian Express. Hwang, however, said the Gurgaon office would “not close down”.
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