Four CITU members including an office bearer were assaulted yesterday (14 March) by INTTUC men inside Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) premises in Durgapur. All the four assaulted CITU members are permanent employees of DSP working in the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) department of the plant.
Trouble started when BOF shop floor management without bothering to go for any formal discussion about manning in a newly installed project ordered a trainee employee to do the job. The trainee employee expressed his reluctance to arrive for the job and even a section of the permanent DSP employee also showed their unwillingness.
DSP – one of the five integrated steel plant under SAIL is in the process of commissioning its third ladle furnace (LF) at BOF. After successful trial run, the third LF is now slowly being introduced in the production line.
Report suggests that in the last few months CITU leaders have been repeatedly trying to convince the DSP management about the need to have a structured manning for smooth running of the third LF. But the shop floor management has always neglected and diverted away from the issue.
When this news of job denial by permanent employees spread, INTTUC men swung into action on the ground that they will not allow any job denial or production delay.
Four INTTUC leaders of BOF shop accompanied by around 40 members of INTTUC contractual worker’s union threatened the permanent DSP employees of BOF who expressed their reluctance of doing the job for which there is no manning agreement.
At this, major chaos erupted and CITU leaders along with their supporters reached GM (Steel) office. But INTTUC contractual workers union supporters threatened the CITU men and virtually prevented them from entering into the office of GM. Gopal Das, a CITU council member at DSP was kicked and thrashed, while Pardip Sarkar, another CITU council member was assaulted. Some of the other permanent employees were also pushed and verbally abused.
However after half an hour CITU leaders managed to enter the office of GM (Steel) and expressed their anguish and concern over the whole incident. There also the INTTUC leaders of DSP’s BOF shop reached and started abusing the CITU leaders and supporters in front of the GM (Steel).
Lalit Mishra – one of the joint secretaries of CITU at DSP was assaulted and abused verbally.
Later in the day, CITU leaders of DSP met the acting Executive Director (Works) Mr. P V N Raju and expressed their utter dis-satisfaction on the whole issue. Apart from demanding an inquiry and punishment of the INTTUC men involved in the incident they also requested Mr. Raju to begin manning talk with all the union representatives for the third LF for its smooth and hassle free running.
CITU leaders at DSP have called for a mass demonstration programme on 18 March to condemn the whole incident.
This kind of assault over CITU leaders and supporters within the plant premises is on the rise for the last two years. Many permanent employees of DSP on condition of anonymity expressed their concern over the increasing lawlessness within the factory premises. They also expressed astonishment on hearing that permanent employees are being beaten up by contractual workers under the instigation of INTTUC leaders.