Prior to Puja, it was a huge shock for the 4,000 employees of the Sankrail Delta Jute Mill as the management suspended work. The workers of the morning shift reached the factory only to see the authorities planning to slap a suspension notice. However due to pressure and agitation from workers, the suspension notice was not pasted but production was halted.
“The authorities of the mill have unlawfully shut down the mill. Around one month back a meeting was held in the presence of labour minister and the authorities of the mill apart from the representatives of other trade unions.
“The union leaders, backed up by the CPI(M), did not sign the agreement as it was not conducive for the workers. We demand the mill be immediately opened,” Biplab Mazumder, the general secretary of the district CPI(M) said.
According to the union leaders of the mill, problems started after they approached the authorities for Puja bonus. “All this is just a drama enacted by them to avoid bonus. Since the other mills have already announced bonus, last Friday we asked the authorities for our dues. They told us they would first discuss this with the owner and then do the needful,” said Sheikh Muhamad, the general secretary of the Trinamool Congress backed trade union of the mill.
HT tried to contact PK Bose, the manager of the company but he did not respond.
The factory siren fell silent on Tuesday.
“We saw the management were about to slap the notice. We had feared that the authorities were planning to close the mill as no raw materials were taken inside the mill from Friday,” Muhamad said.