KOCHI: The conciliatory meeting between Muthoot Finance Ltd management and the representatives of the employees’ union affiliated to CITU remained inconclusive on Tuesday as the finance firm management did not agree to any of the demands of the employees. Labour Commissioner Sajan CV convened the meeting following a directive of the High Court to hold an effective conciliatory meeting to resolve the labour dispute between the Muthoot management and a section of employees under the banner of Non-Banking and Private Finance Association (NBPFA).
However, Muthoot Finance MD George Alexander did not turn up for the meeting. Labour Department officials said that they would continue the conciliatory talks and the next meeting would be held on January 20.
“The Muthoot management stood firm on its decision not to reinstate the 166 staffers working in 43 branches across the state who were terminated at 5 pm on December 7 without being given any prior notice.
It is clear that they are not ready to end the strike and the absence of Muthoot MD in the talks is the best example of this. We will continue the ongoing strike we had commenced in front of the firm’s head office in Kochi on January 2 demanding to reinstate the employers who were terminated on December 7,” said Nisha K Jayan, leader of the Non-Banking and Private Finance Association (NBPFA).
According to the union leaders, they had agreed to end the strike but the management had terminated the employees in retaliation to the strike.
CITU general secretary Elamaram Kareem, MP, who also attended the talks, said the union would continue the strike. “The representatives of the management didn’t put up any suggestions to resolve the issue during the talks,” he said.
Meanwhile, Babu John Malayil, DGM- Corporate Communications, said, the management could not act as per the wishes of the trade union. “If they continue the strike, we will be forced to shut down more branches,” he said. When asked about the absence of the MD, Babu said that those who attended Tuesday’s meeting were selected by a board meeting of the management and the MD need not attend all the meetings.
Earlier, the High Court had held that a congenial atmosphere should be created in the company where the employees could ventilate their grievances. The court had appointed advocate Liji J Vadakkedom as advocate observer of the conciliation meeting. The outcome of the meeting will be informed to the High Court by the advocate observer.
Besides Elamaram Kareem, M Swaraj, MLA, CITU state secretary KN Gopinath, CITU leaders M Chandran Pillai, C K Mani Shankar, Ratheesh PK and Nisha K Jayan attended the meeting. C V John, general manager, HR, Muthoot Finance, and legal advisor Thomas John were present on behalf of the management.
CITU workers attack Muthoot employees
Idukki: Two employees with the Muthoot Finance Limited, who went to open the branch office at KKR Junction, were attacked by CITU workers at Thodupuzha here by 9am on Tuesday. The injured employees have been admitted to the district hospital at Thodupuzha. Of the six employees, who went to open the office, branch manager Joy and Naveen Chandran were ambushed by the 12-member team of CITU workers.
The branch office, which was kept closed owing to the ongoing tussle between the management and the trade unions, was opened by the authorities on Monday under strict police protection. Since no untoward incident happened on Monday, the staff went to open it on Tuesday. However, CITU workers attacked them. The Thodupuzha police have taken the statement of the victims.