Hindustan Motors strike ends partially
Friday, 11 May 2007, 07:00 Hrs
Kolkata: Work resumed at the Hindustan Motors' Uttarpara unit, Thursday with some unions withdrawing support to the ongoing strike and the management taking back the "suspension of operation" notice. "The suspension of operation notice has been withdrawn from this morning (Thursday) and 80 percent employees joined work. The production of Ambassador car started," C.K. Birla Group Corporate Communications Head Soni Shrivastav told IANS from New Delhi. Unions like Centre for Indian Trade Union (CITU) and two other unions - SSU and IFTU - withdrew their support to the strike to demand regularisation of salary and resumption of payment of dearness allowance that has remained frozen since 2001. However, workers affiliated to the Sangrami Shramik Karmachari Union (SSKU) and INTUC (Indian National Trade Union Congress), which are spearheading the strike, had stayed away and continued with their movement at the factory gate demanding Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya's intervention to resolve the stalemate. "We are still continuing with our strike as usual and today's the 11th day of our ongoing fast. We demand the intervention of the chief minister," SSKU leader Amitava Bhattacharya, who has participated in the indefinite fast, told IANS. SSKU, the sole bargaining agent, had been holding sit-ins at the factory gate since March 13. After 29 days of labour unrest, the management of the C.K. Birla Group's Hindustan Motors hung the 'suspension of operation' notice at factory gate April 11. Bhattacharya said a delegation Thursday met West Bengal Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb at state secretariat Writers' Buildings and asked for Bhattacharya's intervention. "The chief secretary has reportedly assured us that he would pass on our message to the chief minister," he said, adding that though the factory was opened after the management withdrew suspension of work notice, only about 1,000 workers joined the work Thursday. "We would not obstruct anyone to enter inside the HM factory physically but we would not roll back from our stand unless our demands are fulfilled," the SSKU leader said. Meanwhile, CITU secretary of HM Uttarpara unit Sukhendu Biswas said they had arranged a meeting at the factory gate of HM Uttarpara unit Thursday morning and partly started the regular works in the factory. "The state government has assured us the management would definitely come to some settlement after 15 days from the withdrawal of strike. So we are waiting for a positive result as the state government is negotiating with other unions for withdrawal of their strike," Biswas added.