Taking up the cause of the out-of-work employees of the Thane manufacturing plant of Raymond Ltd, Shiv Sena activists on Tuesday protested on the unit premises at Cadbury junction.
The Sainiks, led by MLA Pratap Sarnaik, demanded that the Chairman and Managing Director, Gautam Singhania, personally meet the disgruntled workers and work out the negotiations on their monetary demands.
After a minor scuffle broke out between the Sainiks and security guards, the Vartak Nagar police were called.
“I don’t see any reason why any political party should barge into my company and hit my guards. They can meet me after fixing an appointment. The issue of the factory closing down has been communicated very transparently through the recognised union of Jeetubhai (Jeetendra) Joshi,” said Singhania on Tuesday.
“The management has put forward its best offer to the workers. The factory was closed down in December as we were not able to run it.”
Singhania said the workers should discuss their issues with the management through the union and not involve a third party.
Though the plant had shut shop, the workers were being paid salaries as negotiations between the union and the management are still on.
The union had initially demanded Rs 22 lakh compensation for the 2,000 workers.
During the negotiations, a decision was taken to give Rs 9 lakh plus gratuity to workers aged between 51 and 55 years and Rs 8 lakh plus gratuity to those between 55 and 60 years.
However, the negotiations fell through when workers below 50 years of age were promised Rs 6-7 lakh plus gratuity.
But Sarnaik insisted that the management should discuss the issue with the workers and reach a decision.
“We have asked Singhania to interact with the workers directly, but he says he will interact with them only through video-conferencing,” said Sarnaik.
Sarnaik also alleged: “Four workers died of heart attacks due to stress. Two more are in critical condition and have been admitted to hospitals.”
But Singhania denied this. “Only one worker died of natural causes and we condole his death.”