In the six days after H K Maheswari, the CEO of Northbrook Jute Mill, was lynched by labourers, at least three jute mills have issued suspension of work notice. State Labour Minister Purnendu Bose Saturday visited the Northbrook jute mill and pulled up the management for not keeping the government in the loop about the labour unrest.
After Auckland Jute Mill at Jagaddal and the New Central Jute Mill at Budge Budge, which issued suspension of work notice over the week, the Victoria Jute Mill at Bhadreswar announced closure on Saturday, leaving 5,000 workers unemployed.
Maheswari was lynched by workers of the Northbrook Jute Mill on Sunday when the management did not agree to their demands to increase working hours.
After meeting the owners of the mill and labour union members Saturday, Bose said: “The management should have informed the government. We held meetings with the jute millers that faced lockout, including Northbrook. But it was never discussed they would curtail working days. If they were facing stock issues, they could have applied for lay-off. Had the government been kept in the loop, we could have managed the situation earlier.”
Bengal for making jute packaging a must
A memorandum would be submitted to the Centre to make jute packaging mandatory, Labour Minister Purnendu Bose said Saturday. “A delegation would submit a memorandum to the Centre. The jute packaging norms for grains and sugar were diluted. For cement packaging, plastic materials are used. As a result, the jute market is suffering,” he said.