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Jute mill owners concerned over decision on reopening mill

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-06-30 15:30:00 – Kolkata

After the meeting held by parliamentary secretary (labour) Tapan Dasgupta, Victoria mill president R.K. Singh “reluctantly” agreed to reopen the factory in Chandernagore, which was closed down since June 17 following alleged despoilment by the labourers on the premises.

Ten employees of Victoria Jute Mill were suspended after they allegedly caused damage to equipment on the premises. But, the workers claimed that a colleague on night duty had fallen ill and were yet asked to continue working.

The management of Chandernagore’s Victoria Jute Mill has decided to reopen the factory, but the owners are concerned over the decision in the wake of the violence at the Northbrook Jute factory in Hooghly.

Singh said that he was made to give in to the demand of reopening the factory, keeping in mind the future of 5,000 employees. But the issue of militant trade unionism remains unaddressed.

Sources in the government also echoed the management’s fears.

According to the source, the jute industry faces structural problems and has not seen any fresh investment. The Chandernagore mill, along with other units, has been tense after Northbrook’s chief executive H.K. Maheshwari was murdered by mill workers on June 15.

The management of Jute mills are pressured to restart mills but their basic problems troubling the industry is not addressed. The existence of multiple union has been a big issue. The state government has also not done enough to ensure packaging of food grains, rice and potato etc in jute bags mandatory.

With all this issue, even if the jute mills restarts operation will be unable to continue along with their production.

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