MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Balco resorting to contract labour

Published by MAC on 2007-12-05


Balco resorting to contract labour

5th December 2007

by Press Trust of India

Aluminium maker Balco, which was privatised a few years ago, is resorting to contract labour after giving VRS to its permanent employees, the Government informed Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

"It is a fact that after offering Voluntary Retirement, the company is resorting to contract labour," Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes said replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour.

The Minister said after the expiry of one-year moratorium on retrenching employees, Balco offered a Voluntary Retirement Scheme. 1303 employees applied, of which VRS was denied to 23. "Those opting for VRS were very senior employees."

Balco, he said, did not follow the correct practice when it offered the compensation under the VRS in installment of six months. "Lot of inconvenience was caused to employees," he said.

Fernandes said the allegations of Balco management not fulfilling its commitment of power and regular water supply to areas adjoining the plant in Chhattisgarh were also true. "The matter comes under Chhattisgarh government. We will convey concerns of members (on the issue) to the Chhattisgarh government."

A study report published by a researcher in VV Giri National Labour Institute does not mention any specific case of violation of labour laws in Balco. "There have, however, been comments in the study about the payment of VRS and post VRS support," he said.

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