JHARSUGUDA : The fast-unto-death agitation by workers of Action Ispat plant here entered the fifth day on Saturday. Nine workers of the plant had started the agitation in front of the Collector’s office on Tuesday demanding payment of pending salaries. Three of the workers have been hospitalised since Thursday after their condition deteriorated.
While the Action Ispat company’s Pandaripathar plant was recently shut down, the workers alleged that they have not been paid salaries for the last eight months. The company’s management has closed the plant premises without declaring a lock-out.
The workers said they have apprised the district administration about the issue. While the administration had called for a meeting with the management several times in the past, the latter failed to attend any. With no way out, the workers have decided to sit on fast-unto-death.
On Saturday evening, Collector Bibhuti Bhusan Patnaik, ADM Sitaram Patel and DRDA Project Director Satyanarayan Das held discussions with the agitating workers and requested them to call off the stir. However, the workers refused to budge.
The Collector said that the company has sent a letter to the administration in which it has mentioned that the dues of those workers whose salary is below `10,000 per month will be paid only after sale of plant properties and for employees getting more than `10,000, pending salary will be cleared in the second phase.
The workers said that unless the company management gives a concrete proposal for clearing the dues, they will not call off their fast- unto-death.
“We have been demanding our dues for a long time now. Unless the company assures to fulfil our demand soon, we are not going to call off strike at any cost,” a worker said.