Centre of Steel Workers Protests against Illegal Retrenchment of Contractual Workers

Centre of Steel Workers organized a one day dharna at the main gate of the Bhilai Steel Plant on 19 June 2014 to protest against the illegal retrenchment of 18 contractual workers (semi skilled workers) on 10 June. 11 contractual workers (skilled workers) were already on strike from 10 June in solidarity with the retrenched workers. The meeting was addressed by A Shekhar Rao, Rajendra Parganiha, Shyam Lal Sahu, Muktanand Sahu, Adalat Ali, Ashok Miri, Jaiprakash Nair, and others.

Through the dharna, a delegation from the Union met the DGM (Industrial Relations, Bhilai Steel Plant) Roy Choudhary and DGM (HSCL) Manoj Singh and submitted a memorandum to them. The delegation was given the assurance that all the workers would be reinstated immediately. These workers had been in their jobs for a period varying from 8 to 20 years, working for contractor Westcon engineers Pvt. Ltd., under Hindustan Steel Construction Ltd. (HSCL).They had done a hartal 2 months ago demanding minimum wages, payment slips, attendance cards, PF slips, safety shoes, additional welfare amenities and other issues, as a result of which the contractor was forced to agree to minimum wages and pay slips. On 10 June these workers were removed from work as a retributive step.

Earlier, on June 12 a representative team from the Union had met GM (Steel Melting Shop 2) Sanjeev Nayyar, AGM (Contract Labour Cell) BVN Prasad and Senior Manager (HSCL) N Chandrashekhar, discussed the matter and submitted a memorandum. The delegation consisted of Brijendra Tiwari, A Shekhar Rao, Rajendra Parganiha, Pankaj Murthy and Kamta Prasad Sinha.

As on June 20 2014, the Bhilai Steel Plant (as the principal employer contracting Westcon Constructions) has not yet reinstated the 18 workers as promised on 19 June, giving the reason that these workers are doing unionism and “netagiri’. The workers’ struggle is still on, and the Union has vowed to carry on the struggle till the management keeps its promise and reinstates the 18 workers.

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