DHENKANAL: The long-standing dispute over retrenchment benefits between officials of Dhenkanal manufacturing division of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and its ex-workers took an ugly turn on Thursday when company authorities tried to shift industrial equipment.
Sources said around 300 contractual workers of the company have been staging an indefinite dharna in front of the plant gate at Baulpur under Sadar police limits since long demanding retrenchment benefits. On Thursday, when the company authorities were trying to shift machineries of the plant on trucks, the agitators tried to block the vehicles.
Additional SP AK Das, Dhenkanal Sub-Collector Abanikant Patnaik and Odapada Tehsildar Lopamudra Mohanty rushed to the spot and tried to pacify the agitators but in vain. Later, police imposed Section 144 and detained 187 workers. They were later released.
Leader of Contractual Workers’ Sangh Debasis Hota said the company was closed in 2008 due to reasons best known to the management. At least 295 workers, who are entitled to get their retrenchment benefits, are running from pillar to post for their rights, he added.
District Labour Officer (DLO) PK Mohanty said till date, only 30 regular workers are entitled to get the benefits but legal hurdles have blocked the negotiation process. A meeting with company officials has been called to consider their demands, he added.