Labour unrest in Durgapur

The industrial town of Durgapur witnessed labour problem in a bicycle wheel manufacturing unit in Khairasole near Muchipara. Notice of suspension of work was served by the factory authority on 4th November stating that arrogant labourer’s belonging to newly-formed Trinamool Congress trade union, INTTUC were forcibly collecting money from vendors and hindering normal production of the factory.
This Rs 7 crore bicycle wheel manufacturing unit was unit set up in 2007 on 2 acres of land near Muchipara and is the only bicycle wheel manufacturing unit in entire South Bengal. It produces around 70,000 wheels per year and has near about 110 workers. The factory authorities claimed that “arrogant labourers invited such awkward situation as we refused to let them collect unauthorised money from our vendors. They are all affiliated to the newly-formed Trinamool Congress trade union.” The notice of suspension of work was served on the factory gate and copies were sent to the Labour department, Civil Administration and the local MLA; they also sent a message to the chief minister.
Mr Ratan Agarwal, the managing director of the unit, said, “That these workers had been hindering the factory’s operation on several fronts. Recently, they started collecting additional money from our clients and despite several warnings, they didn’t deter from such activities.” Mr Agarwal further said, “They served notice to us asking us to allow the illegal toll from the vendors in the dispatch line which was quashed in a tripartite meeting last 1 August.”
The district Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC) leadership, however, said that the labour union in the cycle-wheel unit had not yet been offered affiliation. District INTTUC president, Mr Probhat Chatterjee, said, “We don’t hold any union in that factory. The factory labourers have applied for affiliation but it has not yet been cleared.”
The deputy labour commissioner of Durgapur industrial region has slated a tripartite meeting on 8th November on the issue to create a consensus.

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