India's first tyre factory restarts production in Bengal | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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India's first tyre factory restarts production in Bengal

kolkata Updated: Dec 02, 2009 12:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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After a closure of one year, Dunlop tyre factory (India's first tyre manufacturer factory), started production on Wednesday.

The 73-year old factory at Sahaganj, about 50 km to the north of Kolkata, started production at 8:30 in the morning with the aim of converting 40 tonnes of rubber a day.

The product mix includes car, bus and off-the-road tyres (tyres for dumpers, pay loaders, earthmoving equipment vehicles etc).

Dunlop is the last global brand that is manufactured in Bengal.

"The entire workforce of more than 1,000 will be absorbed," said the spokesperson.

There was a last minute glitch centering absorbing 25 workers who had been suspended by the management on alleged charges of indiscipline.

But a last minute assurance by Dunlop India chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia to Trinamool leader Partha Chatterjee ensured the inclusion of the leaders in the payroll.

"The workers will be absorbed in work outside the factory," remarked a Dunlop spokesperson.

Dunlop enjoyed a near monopoly status in Indian tyre industry till the eighties.

In the late nineties the company was shut down by a shortage of working capital. It reopened in early 2006 when Kolkata-based investor Pawan Kumar Ruia bought it out from Dubai-based Jumbo Group.

But fund crunch forced another closure last year.

"However, workers are yet to get their dues as calculated in the tripartite agreement the management signed in April 2006," said workers at the plant.