Over 100 employees of a private steel plant in Durgapur locked two company officials over non-payment of salaries. However the two company executives were released after labour union leaders of the private steel unit intervene.
Jai Balaji Industries is having three steel manufacturing units in Durgapur. The one at Lenin Sarani near Sagarbhaga locality of Durgapur has been kept idle for the last six months. Though the other two steel units of Jai Balaji Industries in Durgapur is kept running but the third one has been kept out of production line by the company citing poor demand of steel.
Last year before the Durga Puja Jai Balaji Industries officially announced production stoppage at its Sagarbhanga steel plant. Management of Jai Balaji has pointed towards the fact that the profit of the factory is in decline as demand for steel in both global and domestic market has declined in the past few years. However the management has requested the workers to be patient and bear in this time of hardship and keep the production going.
Around 350 Jai Balaji workers lost their job because of such an action by the company management. But around 100 still remained. However these workers complain of not getting salaries from December. Even on January 2 this year hundreds of Jai Balaji workers demonstrated in front of the factory gate at Durgapur’s Sagabhanga locality complaining of non-payment of salary.
On Tuesday (18 February) when two company officials entered the Jai Balaji steel plant at Sagarbhanga, the contractual workers of the unit locked them in a room and demanded that unless their due salaries are paid the two will not be released.
Amid chaos both police and labour union leaders arrived. At the behest of the union leaders of both CITU and INTTUC, the two company officials were released. The police officers also intervened and talked with company higher management over phone on the issue of non-payment of salaries.
Sources said that the Jai Balaji higher management agreed to pay one month salary immediately. At this the demonstration of the aggrieved was lifted.
Anup Chakroborty on behalf of CITU and Parimal hazra on behalf of INTTUC said that though the protest agitation has been lifted for the time being but will resort to more fierce agitation if another month salary of the workers is not cleared soon.