Ousted contract workers of DSP staged a Dharna

The families of the contractual workers of Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) who lost their jobs after Trinamool Congress came into power in 2011 held a peaceful Dharna outside the administrative building of DSP. Most of these contract workers who lost their jobs were serving the plant for more than 20 years and are in an awful situation after losing their jobs. These contract workers are now seeking the interventions of the management of DSP to get their jobs back. Only a small portion of the contract workers who lost their jobs gathered outside the administrative building of DSP in the presence of Police presence as they fear that they might be attacked by Trinamool Congress supporters.

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Dharna by Contract workers of DSP

Like all other units of the Maharatna PSU, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), DSP has a large number of contractual workers along with permanent workers. At present, nearly 4000 contractual workers are involved in daily production process of the plant and play a major role in production process. Earlier, before the assembly poll of 2011, most of these contract workers were members of United Contractor Workers Union (UCWU), a Left Trade Union controlled and affiliated under CITU. But the scenario changed after Trinamool Congress won the assembly poll of 2011 and more specifically won both the assembly seats of Durgapur. The trade union wing of Trinamool Congress, INTTUC demanded that 80 % of the contract workers must be from their members and initiated pressure tactics. They at first forced the management of DSP not to renew the gate passes of the old contract workers and then threatened the contractors to engage new people who are supporters of Trinamool Congress.
Though Durgapur Mayor and elected member of Durgapur (Paschim) assembly belonging to Trinamool Congress after coming to power stated that they are not in favour of any such ouster, but the ground reality is very much different. Nearly 2000 contract workers lost their jobs and are in a great dilemma of how to earn their livelihood and feed their families. According to report, Prabhat Chatterjee, INTTUC Bardhaman district president has been mostly instrumental in recruiting new faces in places of the old contract workers.
Pennynless and without any means of earning, these contract workers who were once members of the left trade union are paying the price of being left minded. Though Mamata Banerjee before the assembly poll gave the call for “Badol and not Badla” (Change and not revenge), but what the contract workers of Durgapur are facing is virtually the reverse. The situation is such for these contract workers that they are even in fear to attend any meeting as they are being threatened by INTTUC supporters ever now and then.

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