'High' drama at Falcon Tyres

Two workers stage protest atop factory chimney, seek regularisation of services

The prolonged dispute between Falcon Tyres Ltd and Badli workers of the company, took a dramatic turn, as two former employees of the company staged a protest, by climbing atop a chimney, over 100 feet in height here on Monday.

After several anxious hours for the police and fire personnel alike, the two protesters, who demanded regularisation of services of Badli workers, were finally convinced to withdraw their protest.

Two labourers, identified as Rajashekar Chakrapali and Nadeem, had climbed atop the chimney, to stage a protest demanding regularisation of services, for 183 Badli workers of the company. The duo, who claimed to have climbed the chimney at 4.30 am, finally climbed down at about 4 pm in the evening, when authorities of the district administration and the Labour department, promised to convene a meeting on January 30, to look into the demands of the protesters.

Rajashekar, who is also the vice-president of Badli Karmikara Sangha, Falcon Tyres, Mysore, speaking to Deccan Herald, said, they had staged a protest, as the company was delaying the regularisation of Badli workers in the company. “Even though we had lodged a writ petition in the High Court, the company has been delaying the judgement, by not appearing during court proceedings,” he said.

Referring to a Standing Order of the Labour department, he alleged that the factory had cheated them, by not giving preference to Badli workers and regularising their employment. “In case, a permanent worker of the company retires, a Badli worker has to be selected for the vacant post. However, the company and permanent workers union have colluded to prevent us from getting regularised,” he said.

Responding to a question on the duo threatening to commit suicide, he said that such threats were made only to ward off policemen, who wanted to climb atop the chimney and bring the protesters down.

Police Inspector of Metagalli police station, Vivekananda confirmed that both were ex-employees of Falcon Tyres Limited, and might have climbed atop the chimney at 7 am in the morning. “We were alerted about it at around 8.45 am. Later, Police and Fire department personnel, along with assistant labour commissioner, convinced the protesters to step down,” he said.

President of the Sangha, Narasimharaj Urs said that a complaint regarding the violation of Standing Orders of Labour department was still pending at second JMFC court in Mysore. Another case was also filed in Mysore Industrial Tribunal citing demands of the Badli workers. He also alleged that the management was delaying the course of law, by not appearing for court proceedings. He also alleged that despite Standing Orders, Badli workers were not given preference after the retirement of permanent workers of the company from 2004.  

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