JAIPUR: As many as 68 retrenched contract workers of IDCOL Ferro Chrome and Alloys Limited in the district are on a dharna for the last nine days. The workers, demanding the reinstatement of their jobs, have been protesting against the illegal decision of the firm’s management to retrench them. “The IDCOL Ferro Chrome and Alloys Limited management have retrenched us illegally as we are not members of a particular trade union, led by a ruling party leader.
The Ferro Chrome plant management has taken such arbitrary and illegal action based on political consideration,” alleged Gouri Barik, one of the retrenched workers. She said the protesters will continue the agitation till their demand is met.
The retrenched workers were members of Biju Patnaik Contract Workers’ Union, a trade union run by a ruling party leader. But, recently the workers left the union and joined Ferro Chrome Workers’ Union, run by INTUC.
INTUC president Bidhadhar Mohanty said the retrenchment of the contract workers is illegal and arbitrary as they left the trade union run by a leader of the ruling party. The management has paid no heed to repeated appeals of the retrenched workers to reinstate their jobs, he said. Mohanty said the workers had approached the deputy labour commissioner (DLC) who had directed the plant management to reinstate them but the latter defied the order.
Sources said INTUC has been extending assistance and cooperation to the agitators. The firm had changed its job contractor through a tender last month. It is alleged the workers were retrenched by the new contractor who replaced them with machines.
Contacted, Managing Director of IDCOL Ferro Chrome and Alloys Limited Birakishore Sahu said, “Volume of production has been affected as one of the plant’s furnaces was closed for annual maintenance. The new job contractor downsized the workforce as per requirement.”