Union leaders meet labour minister over Dunlop shut down


Kolkata : Various labour unions of tyre maker Dunlop India Ltd are still not ready to accept the management offer of Rs.2,000 per employee every month while keeping the plant shut down to tide over the current economic slowdown, a top trade union leader said here Tuesday.

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The unions will stick to their demand of a Rs.25,000 payment per employee towards wage arrears as was promised by the company’s current management when it acquired and reopened the ailing company in 2006.

“When Dunlop reopened, we were promised a sum of Rs.30,000 per employee towards back-wages. But we were paid only Rs.5,000, which was the first instalment. They have to pay the remaining sum as soon as possible,” Subrata Mukherjee, president of the West Bengal unit of the Indian National Trade Union Congress(INTUC), told IANS.

INTUC is one of the leading unions of Dunlop workers.

Representatives of various labour unions met West Bengal Labour Minister Mrinal Banerjee Tuesday, seeking his intervention to resolve the impasse.

Emerging out of the bipartite meeting, they said they were extremely sceptical of the credibility of the present owner of Dunlop, Pawan Kumar Ruia.

“Now they have promised that they will pay a sum of Rs.2,000 to every employee for the coming three months, but that does not ensure that they will not shut down the company indefinitely after a few months,” labourers said.

Tyre manufacturer Dunlop suspended production in its Sahagunj unit, near Kolkata, Nov 17.

The Ruia Group ventured into the tyre industry in 2005 with the acquisition of Dunlop India Ltd.

Mukherjee, however, did not rule out the possibility of holding a tripartite meeting between the labour minister, labour unions and Ruia.