A writ petition at Kolkata High Court by a Durgapur INTTUC leader claims that CPM’s labour wing CITU has erected union office on land meant for industry. Durgapur CITU leaders have however rebuffed the allegation. The CITU union office in question is at Sagarbhanga locality of Durgapur.
The writ by Mr Atindranath Bandopadhyay, the secretary of the INTTUC affiliated labour union at Graphite India Limited claimed that CITU grabbed the land provided to the industry for setting up of staff quarters several years back.
The CITU however claimed that the land was used with the prior approval of the Bangur group-run industry, Graphite India Limited in Durgapur.
Five acres of land was provided to Graphite India Limited by the state for setting up of staff quarters in 1989, which later was converted to industrial land. The Bangur group utilised the land to help capacity expansion of the unit in 2006. The CITU had set up its trade union office on the land of the expanded unit.
Mr Atindranath Bandopadhyay, the Durgapur INTTUC leader stated: “The factory had 95 government quarters for its employees at Sagarbhanga Colony of Durgapur. The land was provided to the company by the erstwhile Left Front government for staff quarter’s purpose with an expectation that the company would help vacating the government quarters in possession at Sagarbhanga Colony.” He alleged: “They didn’t vacate the quarters and more over the company illegally allowed the CITU to avail government land to hold a palace-like union office here.”
The Bangur group’s Graphite India Limited authority meanwhile denied any charge of patronising or colluding with the CITU in a wrongful way.
Mr Arnab Mitra, Deputy Manager (Personnel) told reporters: “The residential land provided to us were duly converted to industrial land after payment of required conversion charges. There was nothing wrong in it.” He said: “The condition of providing the land never said that Graphite India Limited required vacating the government quarters in either way.”
The CITU’s district president, Mr B K Chakraborty ruled out any anomaly and said: “It has long been a convention that trade unions offices are being set up on factory land with prior permission from the company. And this can be seen anywhere across Asansol Durgapur industrial zone.”
He added: “The factory had given us approval and we went ahead of setting up of the union office way back in 2006. The union office was set up from the donations by party sympathizer and supporters who donated three days of wages for the cause.”
INTTUC, the labour wing of the Trinamool Congress was last year accused of setting up a labour contractor’s office on a land held by Graphite India Limited in Durgapur. The state’s statutory body after holding an inquiry had tabled a report on the matter.