26th September 2010 From India, Delhi
Industrial Relations Situation at Titagarh
Jute industry time and again gets associated with strikes, lockouts and closure. The particular case in point is Titagarh Jute Mill. The Titagarh Mill has been unsuccessfully run by different promoters since 1986. For long time workers were demanding payment of Provident Fund and Gratuity dues of retired employees, payment of their due wages, and permanent placement of temporary workers. Workers had not been paid gratuity and other arrears – amounting to about Rs.15 crore – since years.
Management’s take on the entire situation was that as new promoters when they took over the mill in 1999, there were huge dues. In Provident fund, Rs.11.83 crore was being paid to the PF Commissioner in 50 installments by the current management. Since the mill was running in loss, the management could not settle all the claims at one go. From management’s perspective, aggrieved unions were getting on the way of smooth functioning of the mills.
Things took an ugly turn when Apurba Roychowdhury, the Personnel Manager of the mill, was found dead in his office in the mill premises, while the Sangrami Mazdoor Union (SMU) was conducting a gate meeting protesting the non-payment of long standing Provident Fund and Gratuity dues. A team from Khardah Police Station arrested 21members of the SMU in this connection. According to Khardha Police Station Inspector, the SMU had not taken police permission to hold the meeting. Union’s high-ranking members, including the President, Secretary and Treasurer were arrested on the spot. They have been charge sheeted and at present are out on bail.
SMU Leaders alleged that the murder was carried out by criminals hired by the management. Currently neither the management nor the workers have the confidence to return to work. How can you improve the condition of the Titagarh Jute Mill as the newly hired Personnel Manager?
12th September 2018 From India, Kolkata