KOCHI: There is no respite to the stir between CITU and the management of gold-loan company Muthoot Finance. Its managing director George Alexander told mediapersons on Tuesday that 300 forcibly shut branches will be closed in a phased manner.
“There’re over 600 branches of the company in Kerala and 300 of them were forcibly shut by CITU workers. We’ve received approval from our board to move ahead with the closing down process if the shut branches remain closed. We’re left with no other choice,” said Alexander.
According to management, the gold-loan business in Kerala has come down to 4.57 per cent from 13.55 per cent which is a major loss for the company.
“It has been over 15 days that the branches have remained closed as the union workers are not allowing the employees to open them. We are incurring a loss as people are not working here and therefore it is with much pain we are closing the branches.
The Muthoot management also alleged that there was vested interest on the part of protesters. “We pay our employees at the end of every month without fail. Even our sub staffs are given all increments, we do not understand why they are protesting to tarnish the reputation of the firm. Employee Stock Options are also paid in stages,” said K R Bijimon, chief general manager of the company.
However, the management is unlikely to take part in the meeting convened by Labour Minister T P Ramakrishnan on Wednesday.
“Nearly 350 staff working at the headquarters of Muthoot were refused entry. Not a single staff was protesting here. We have not decided to go for the meeting. Earlier, we had a series of discussions with the labour officer relating to the issues and none was pointed out by the officer. We are not at fault here,” said George.
Eapen Alexander, executive director, Muthoot Finance Ltd, and George M George, managing director of Muthoot Hospitality, also took part in the press conference.