PUDUCHERRY: After the recent closure of the Anglo-French Textile mills, the administration has announced the closure of Swadeshi and Bharathi Textile mills, the two French period textile mills from the evening of September 30.
Managing Director of the Mills P Priyadarshni in a notice on Tuesday stated that as per the orders of the government, the Swadeshi and Bharathi Textile Mills will be closed under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947.
Swadeshi cotton mills was the first mill that was started in 1828, while Bharathi textile mills was started in 1892. After the French left, both the mills were taken over by National Textile Corporation before the Puducherry government took them over in 2005.
The mills have run up losses and the accumulated loss was more than Rs 100 crores.
The Puducherry government has been pumping in money to pay the salaries of the employees and to run the mills. The production stopped several years ago and the mills were defunct, though some alternate work was being done by the workers off and on.
Now around 300 permanent workers are employed in the mills along with another 270 casual workers. The salaries and wages of the workers have been pending for nearly 21 months. The permanent workers, a majority of them above the age of 50, want the mill management to provide them with a good settlement considering their services.
However certain trade unions like AITUC have been demanding that the mills be run by modernizing them since it provided people with employment.
Meanwhile, AIADMK legislator Vayyapuri Manikandan condemned the move of the government to close the mills. After making the AFT mill which was the pivot for Puducherry’s economy, sick due to mismanagement, it was closed, he charged.
Promising government jobs for one person in a family and making other such tall promises, the Congress had captured power, he said. But at a time when the tenure of the government is coming to an end, they have been unable to provide employment to anyone and are closing down employment options. The government which failed to fill up vacant posts have closed all the three major textile mills and shattered the dreams youths had of getting a job at least in a mill here, Manikandan said.