Visakhapatnam: CITU tells state to reopen mill

Chittivalasa mill closure hurts thousands.

Visakhapatnam: Trade unions are demanding the state government’s immediate intervention so that the Chittivalasa jute mill that was closed by the management is immediately reopened.

“If the management refuses to reopen the mill, the government must take over. If just Rs50 crore is invested, profits will flow in and a major employment opportunity will be created. It will also give a big boost to development. Unfortunately, there is no discussion and thinking in this regard,” said CITU state president Ch. Narasinga Rao.

Mr Rao said that it was not proper for the government to “give weight to the management stand and refuse to discuss the issue”. “Such an attitude is depriving the workers in general and people of North Andhra in particular. Even now, it is not too late. The government must come forward and see that the mill is reopened in public interest,” he said.

Mr Rao added that the workers are being put to innumerable hardships all along this past decade. “We appeal to the government to take immediate steps and arrange payment of wages, PF, gratuity etc. immediately to save the lives of thousands of workers from hunger and destitution,” he said.

The CITU leader said that on January 22, in the presence of labour minister Pithani Satyanarayana, trade union representatives had stated their stand in writing about the Chittivalasa Jute mill issue.

“The issue is being dragged in the name of discussions and there is no political will to resolve it. The workers are losing time and are put to innumerable hardships. We demand, even now the government should pressurise the management to settle the issue to pay the legally available wages with arrears and to reopen the mill to continue employment,” Mr Rao said.

The state government declared the lock out as illegal vide GO No. 1265/20-08-2009.

The management moved court and the High Court dismissed its petition, and ordered the factory to pay the commercial tax dues and also dues to State Bank Of India.

As such, the workers must be paid their salaries along with back wages for entire lock out period, with interest. This comes to nearly Rs149.90 crore and is legally binding on the management.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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