Festive shopping hit as RSP defers payment of Puja bonus to workers

In telltale signs of an economic slowdown, the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) have deferred their decision to pay festive ex-gratia to workers. 

Published: 30th September 2022 06:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2022 06:07 AM   |  A+A-

Rourkela Steel Plant

Rourkela Steel Plant (File Photo)

By Express News Service

ROURKELA:  In telltale signs of an economic slowdown, the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) have deferred their decision to pay festive ex-gratia to workers. Trade union sources said negotiations for finalisation of festive ex-gratia failed at the core committee meeting of the National Joint Committee on Steel (NJCS) on September 24. The next meeting will be held on October 10. In the last meeting, member trade unions of NJCS had demanded ex-gratia of Rs 45,000 while SAIL stuck to `26,000.  

Market sources said even with Rs 26,000 festive ex-gratia, around 11,000 workers of RSP would have received around Rs 28.60 crore and almost the entire amount would have been spent in the local market for shopping. Garment and electronic retailers eagerly wait for Durga Puja eyeing the share of RSP’s festive ex-gratia. During Diwali, locals including workers and executives of RSP mostly focus on buying gold and vehicles. Director of Bothra Mega Bazaar Bikram Bothra said he was expecting robust garment sale ahead of the Puja which is being celebrated with fanfare after a gap of two years. 

“With the RSP workers not getting festive ex-gratia before Durga Puja, we can only expect moderate business, if not losses,” he said. President of BMS-affiliated Rourkela Ispat Karkhana Karmachari Sangh (RIKKS) HS Bal said SAIL’s deferment of the ex-gratia has marred the festive mood of workers. 

“Durga Puja being a major festival, RSP workers would inevitably indulge in shopping but it will be curtailed,” he said. Meanwhile, around 420 regular and around 2,500 contractual workers of Rajgangpur-based refractory unit of the Dalmia Bharat Group staged agitation on Tuesday demanding bonus of Rs 30,000 against the revised offer of Rs 27,400 by the management, said CITU’s Odisha unit vice president Jehangir Ali.  Other private industries based near Rourkela have either paid or are ready to pay 10 to 20 per cent bonus to workers. 


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