ROURKELA: With the decks cleared for acquisition of the closed Adhunik Metaliks Ltd (AML) plant in Kuanrmunda block of Sundargarh district by UK-based Liberty House Group, trade unions have intensified demand for restoration of jobs of workers and payment of their outstanding dues.
Earlier in May, 2018, the CITU-affiliated Adhunik Metaliks Karmachari Sangh (AMKS) had filed a petition before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), Kolkata to protect interest of AML workers.
CITU national vice-president and AMKS president Bishnu Mohanty said as per Section 31 (1) of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, the Committee of Creditors had given 99.94 per cent voting share to Liberty House Group and a Resolution Plan was approved for acquisition of AML. According to the Resolution Plan, the UK-based conglomerate was supposed to pay Rs 410 crore for acquisition of AML but failed several deadlines.
Recently, the Liberty House Group deposited Rs 410 crore as deal money and additional `10 crore for delayed payment following which the NCLAT, in its February 17 interim order, paved way for acquisition of AML.
Mohanty said the NCLAT has fixed the final date for passing the order on March 3. He claimed that around 5,000 workers including 1,500 regular ones were dependant on AML.
Till closure of the plant in July, 2017, there were around 1,200 employees who were not paid salaries for months and the company also did not deposit its share of statutory dues.
Mohanty said the new management is legally bound to restore jobs of AML workers and pay their outstanding dues.
“CITU would intensify protest if the demands are not met,” he added. Spokesperson for INTUC-affiliated Sundargarh Shramik Sangh NR Samal also demanded restoration of jobs of AML workers and settlement of their pending dues.
AML, an integrated steel plant of 0.5 MTPA, started production during 2004. However, it had resorted to abrupt lock out on February 13, 2015 citing acute financial and operational issues.
After Odisha Government declared the lock out as illegal, the plant resumed operation from May 15, 2015, to July 31, 2017, till the AML management officially declared it insolvent.