PARADIP : Production in Essar Steel plant was affected on Friday as hundreds of workers staged dharna protesting illegal termination of workers and non-fulfilment of various demands.
The agitators, under the banner of Paradip Essar Steel India Workers’ Union, locked the main gate and staged demonstration seeking fulfilment of various demands which include payment of variable dearness, skilled development, house rent, washing, conveyance, over time and canteen allowances besides provision of ESI, EPF benefits and safety equipment.As the agitators restricted entry of employees and vehicles, official work and production in the plant was affected.
In May this year, the workers’ body had threatened to intensify protests in front of the plant’s main gate to press their demands. The union had also warned of paralysing production in the plant. Apprehending law and order situation in the plant, joint general manager (HR) R K Mohanty sought the intervention of the district administration to take preventive measures.
The district administration had clamped prohibitory orders near the factory’s main gate for smooth running of the plant. Later, the administration held a meeting with the union members in the presence of local police to resolve their issues. Though Essar officials skipped the meet, Paradip ADM Kanhu Charan Dhir had assured to resolve the issues of agitating workers.
Though six months have passed since the meet, the demands of the workers are yet to be met. Meanwhile, the plant authority have also terminated eight workers.