The Calcutta High Courts order to appoint a provisional liquidator for the assets of Dunlop India Limited (DIL) has brought a ray of hope to around 319 people who went for the Early Retirement Scheme but did not receive any post-retirement benefits.
Only the Provident Fund has been given to those who retired earlier,other benefits have not been given to them. The present employees have not been paid the salaries of October and November 2008. About 258 retired employees have not received their dues, said a Citu leader of the Dunlops Sahaganj unit,Bitan Chowdhury.
While most employees of DILs Sahaganj unit welcomed the move,some demanded immediate intervention of the state government in the interest of the 843 employees who are allegedly deprived of their salaries.
Work at the plant was suspended on October 8 last year over alleged law and order trouble on its premises.
Some employees also demanded a tripartite meeting to sort out the problems that the unit is facing.
The salary was stopped in October last year after suspension of work notice was issued at the plant. There are 843 employees in the unit whose fate has become uncertain. The management has no intention to run the plant. Had they been interested,the situation would not have come to such a pass. With the High Court appointing a liquidator,there is some hope that we will get our dues, Prosidhnath Dubey,a Dunlop employee,said.
Dubey also expressed displeasure over the governments attitude. We had sent three to four letters to the Chief Minister,Industry Minister and the Labour minister,seeking a tripartite meeting. The government only held bipartite meeting with the company representatives, Dubey said.
After lying closed for several years,the Sahaganj unit of Dunlop reopened in March 2006 after industrialist Pawan Ruiya took over. An agreement was signed between the management and employees associations.
Dunlops reopening was termed as the opening of a new chapter in industrial rejuvenation in West Bengal by then Chief Minister Buddhedeb Bhattacharjee.
But the hope of betterment disappeared quickly.
Though operation began at the plant,the production had remained always below the breakeven point. The management had no intention make the unit a profitable one. The machines gradually become obsolete, an employee said.
Vice-Chairman,Hooghly Chinsurah municipality,and INTTUC leader of Dunlop,Amit Roy said: The HC order has virtually paved the way for selling of the property of the company and it has no mention about revival of the plant which we have been demanding. The state government was also putting pressure on the DIL to reopen and run the factory. The Central trade unions need to come to a common platform to fight for reopening of the plant.