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Nadia Chemical Factory Suspends Works Over Bonus Brawl

2016-10-18 14:09

Workers gathered at the entrance of Alchrome Chemical Industries factory after suspension of work announced. Picture by Palash Sarkar

NfN NETWORK

Kalyani, Oct. 18: Alchrome Chemical Industries, a Kalyani based chemical manufacturing company today announced suspension of work for indefinite period following a dispute over payment of bonus with workers. The company management slapped a notice today early in the morning announcing its decision about suspension of work following the workers prohibited delivery of finished products to the clients unless the management pay them 20% of their gross annual salary as the festive bonus.

The company management agreed to pay bonus at the rate of 8.33% as per Government order, to which the workers also agreed upon during the renewal of their three year’s work agreement that came into effect from January this year

The suspension of notice, has meanwhile, rendered 105 workers of the company jobless barely ten days ahead of the Diwali.

The Alchrome Chemical Industries manufactures sodium dichromate based color that used in the tanneries and leather industries

A notice under company’s letterhead, which was pasted on the factory gates this morning, read: "….the workers had hampered the work of production. They had obstructed to deliver finished goods from the factory. Till now they have been continuing their destructive activities. Under the above circumstances, it is not possible for the management to continue production in the factory. Therefore,, the competent authority has compelled to declare suspension of work on no work no pay basis from today till uncertain period from6am dated 18-10-2016”

According to company sources, trouble began with the workers during the last week of the September when the Trinamul Congress led workers’ union placed demand for bonus at the rate of 20% of the gross annual salary. The company management refused to oblige the demand instead told the workers to accept bonus at the rate of 8.33%.

Factory Manager O.P.Sing said: “The Company has been struggling for existence for the past few years. This year we also renewed the agreement with the workers for another three years’ term despite steep competition in the market with foreign manufacturers. During renewal of the agreement the workers consented upon payment of bonus at 8.33%. They also signed the agreement acknowledging all the terms and condition. We accordingly declared the bonus at the rate of 8.33% urging the workers to cooperate with the management to ensure survival in the market. But, they refused to help us instead prohibited the management to deliver the finished products to the clients since Monday afternoon. We tried to convince them, but the plant leader Pradip Biswas refused to understand. Following which, the directors decided to suspend work at the plant. We have also informed the labor department and INTTUC leadership for help in the matter”.

Pradip Biswas, a process man at the company’s Kalyani plant and leader of INTTUC affiliated workers’ union, however, claimed that the issue of bonus was not a part of the agreement.

“There was nothing written about payment of bonus. The issue was an unsettled one. For the last several years company has paid us bonus at the rate of 20% in two installments. This year too we demanded the same bonus. But they refused. There is no major crisis in the market, rather there is good demand. So we urged the company not to reduce the bonus amount as all the workers are poorly paid. The average salary of the workers is about Rupees 6000 to 8000. But, the management refused to listen us”.

Nadia district INTTUC president Sunil Tarafdar said: “I advised the workers as well as management to settle the dispute amicable within them. But, unfortunately either side remained rigid. Today I have called the workers in a meeting following which I will talk to the management so that the problem is solved and work resumed”

State labor commissioner Jawaid Akhtar said: “I have so far got no official information on the matter, but I have heard it. I have sought a report from the deputy labor commissioner in Kalyani”

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