Fifty-nine former employees of a private firm in Hinjawadi claimed they were locked up in a room on the company’s premises and forced to resign by the management. The company has denied the allegations.
At a press conference on Sunday, employees of Emerson Process Management (India) Pvt Ltd, which makes valves, said that in December and January, they were called to a room on the company campus and asked to resign. “After we refused, they locked up us, threatened us and forced us to submit our resignations,” a statement released by the workers stated.
Labour leader Yashwant Bhosale, who heads Rashtriya Shramik Aghadi, said he submitted a complaint to Hinjawadi police station on Sunday urging them to take action against the company management.
“We have met Pimpri-Chinchwad police commissioner and urged him to take action in the matter,” he said, adding that the Labour Commissioner has also been intimated about the alleged plight of the workers. “The Labour Commissioner had directed the company to reinstate the workers in the job, but the company has refused to follow the directives,” he said.
The workers broke down as they aired their allegations at the press conference. They said most of them worked as drivers and security guards for 20-25 years. “Some of us were even honoured as the best workers,” said one former employee of the company.
They claimed that they were handed a typed draft of the resignation and told to sign on the dotted lines. “We were told that the company wanted to reduce the manpower,” the statement read.
Bhosale said that though the company wanted to reduce manpower, it immediately appointed a few contract workers. “Since contract workers were available at meagre salary, they were recruited immediately. This means the company did not want to cut manpower,” he said.
Demanding that workers should be immediately reinstated in their respective jobs, Bhosale threatened to launch an agitation.
When contacted, an Emerson spokesperson said, “A small group of security guards and drivers employed by Emerson in Pune resigned in January 2020 as part of a restructuring exercise we undertook. This group of people were offered a voluntary separation, they accepted all the terms put in front of them, and received a settlement payment made to them and duly resigned from their positions. Over a month later, they have informed us that they have changed their minds and demand to be reinstated as employees again.”
The spokesperson added, “While we sympathise with their change of mind, unfortunately, there are no open positions to accommodate them at this stage. Emerson is a responsible employer and we will do all we can to help this group of people with placement.”
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