MAC: Mines and Communities

Trade Union Leaders Resent Bhusan Incident

Published by MAC on 2006-05-23
Source: Pioneer News Service

Trade union leaders resent Bhusan incident

Pioneer News Service, Bhubaneswar

23rd May 2006

Leaders of all Trade Union, INTUC, CITU, AITUC and Bharatiya Majzdoor Sangh have expressed resentment over the attack of the security personnel of Bhusan Steel on villagers at Raibania in Dhenkanal district on May 20, in which several local residents were injured.

INTUC State president Ramchandra Khuntia condemned the "anti-labourer attitude" of the company authorities and demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident. He said that the State Government should come out with a uniform rehabilitation policy keeping in mind the interests of thousands of displaced people in the wake of industrialisation.

When asked about the Central Government's refusal to provide a rehabilitation package for the people displaced due to establishment of the Rourkela Steel Plant, Khuntia said that INTUC would oppose any move that would deny the oustees their legitimate dues. Referring to the Chief Minister's letter to the Prime Minister regarding rehabilitation of the displaced people of Rourkela, Khuntia said that the Central Government should refrain from any discriminatory attitude while dealing with such a humanitarian issue.

BMS State president, Prasanta Padhi criticised the role of the State Labour Department in the Bhusan Steel incident and demanded a high-level inquiry into the violence. He alleged that the State Government was deliberately ignoring the interests of labourers.

AITUC State general secretary, Souribandhu Kar said that the companies, which are running their units in the State, have been repeatedly violating the labour laws. Instead of the minimum wage of Rs 50, the labourers of Bhusan Steel are getting only Rs 35 and instead of a statutory eight-hour duty, they are subjected to 12 hours of work, he alleged.

Similarly, CITU State chief Lambodar Nayak accused the State Government of becoming company-friendly instead of safeguarding the interests of labourers.

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