Dunlop suspends work at Bengal tyre factory

Dunlop suspends work at Bengal tyre factory

The management of the factory put up suspension of work notice at the factory gate Friday night. About 900 workers are employed at the unit.

The management earlier declared suspension of work at the factory in April this year.

Following demonstrations by trade unions, it withdrew the notice and asked the workers to join duty after a few days.

In the notice, the Ruia group company said: "The management had invested huge amount of money for the revival of the Sahagunj plant. But with the indulgence of some anti-socials, a section of recalcitrant workers resorted to disruptive activities, including vandalism."

The management also cited other reasons like "exorbitant conversion cost, hefty increase in raw material prices without corresponding increase in tyre prices, continuous losses and cash crunch" for its inability to run the factory.

It also claimed that the company had no liability to pay wages to the workers during the period of suspension of operation.

Meanwhile, the Bengal government said it will hold a meeting with the company representatives Monday at the state Secretariat here to know why the Sahagunj factory has been closed down.

“For the past few days Dunlop’s Sahagunj factory was facing problems regarding supply of raw materials and bank loan. But we had requested him (Ruia Group chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia) not to close down the factory because it is not a solution. But I do not know under what circumstances, they closed down the factory today just after Durga Puja,” state Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee said.

“We have asked representatives of the management to hold a meeting with us on Monday. Labour Minister Purnendu Bose and I will talk to them to know why the factory has been closed down. We will ask them to open the factory,” he said adding that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was herself active to ensure that the production at the factory started.

Dunlop, which Ruia acquired in 2006, has two plants -- at Ambattur near Chennai and at Sahagunj. While the Ambattur plant is operational, there has been no production in Sahagunj plant for the last ten months.

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