The wheels again started rolling on Wednesday in Dunlop’s 73-year old factory at Sahaganj, about 50 km to the north of Kolkata, in West Bengal after protracted labour-management differences and lack of power supply had kept the country’s oldest tyre factor shut for more than a year.
Operations at the plant was suspended since November 30, 2008, after a section of workers refused the management’s proposal for a temporary shut down.
The plant reopened in March, and started routine maintenance with 229 workers, but had to suspend operations after the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDC) refused to restore power supply to the plant.
After protracted deliberations over the terms of the letter of credit, WBSEDC restored power on November 9, 2009 after the company issued bank guarantee of Rs 1.61 crore in favour of the power utility.
After enjoying a near monopoly status in the country’s tyre industry, a severe fund crunch forced a shut down in the company in the late nineties.
It reopened in early 2006 when Kolkata-based investor Pawan Kumar Ruia bought it out from Dubai-based Jumbo Group. But another fund crunch forced closure last year.
“The entire workforce of more than 1,000 will be absorbed,” a company spokesperson said.