Falcon Tyres workers call off protest after 141 days

Factory to resume production within 2 days

The indefinite protest, launched by the members of Falcon Tyres Employees Union on March 23, was called off after 141 days on Monday. The protesters called off the stir by planting a Champak sapling near the deputy commissioner’s office, the venue of the protest.

The union president D V Devaraj told Deccan Herald, “Following the reopening of the factory that is set to resume production within two days, it was decided to withdraw the protest. Raw materials have been received and orders remain to be supplied.” However, according to Devaraj, the only pinch is the delay in salary for the month of July and part salary of November last (the month when the factory stopped production) that remains to be settled.

When all efforts to impress upon the authorities concerned to reopen the factory had failed, the employees union decided to stage protest in turns beginning from March 23. As a result,  the area around the deputy commissioner’s office had turned chock-a-block. It did not take much time for the district administration to take note of the issue.

On April 4, a meeting was convened under the chairmanship of Revenue and District In-charge Minister V Srinivas Prasad. Eventually, it was decided in the meeting to form a high-level committee to resolve the issue.

On June 18, a meeting was convened under the chairmanship of State Higher Education and Tourism Minister R V Deshpande (now holding industries and tourism portfolio). During the meeting, the factory chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia was given a deadline to resume operations at the factory.

The much-awaited moment came on July 1, with the factory opening its doors raising hopes among the workers in a fix. However, much before the factory workers could heave a sigh of relief, came a jolt in the form of a court notice. Following the directions of Madras High Court, a notice was served to the factory management to seize 79 machines owing to customs duty. Amid this, came raw materials to produce 80,000 tyres and tubes (dunlop brand).

The factory, with decades long history, has around 2,000 workers and most of them regularised workers. It has been producing dunlop brand tyres and tubes at its main plant at Metagalli on KRS road on the outskirts of the city.

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