The management of Dunlop India Ltd (DIL) on Saturday declared suspension of work at its Sahaganj factory in West Bengal’s Hooghly district, alleging law and order problem at the plant and non-cooperation from workers.

“A notice of suspension of work has been put up today, mainly because of the law and order problem at the plant, our inability to remove goods and material from the factory and non-production. In this situation it is not possible to run the factory,” a DIL spokesman told PTI.

The staff strength at the plant is about 900.

State Labour Minister Purnendu Bose described the DIL move as ‘undesirable’ and said the management of the Pawan Ruia-owned company must make it clear whether it has the intention of running the factory.

“We want the factory to operate and the workers to be paid their arrears,” Mr. Bose said.

“I visited the factory recently at the request of the workers. I found many of the units dismantled,” he said.

Mr. Bose said there had not been any labour unrest in the factory since the bipartite agreement in 2006, and 306 employees who have taken early retirement had not been paid their dues.

On the management’s allegation of law and order problem inside the plant, Mr. Bose said, “It is the responsibility of the management to ensure security inside the factory. Since it is buying companies in Germany and France, it should have no problem with spending on security inside the factory.”

According to Mr. Bose, the DIL management had not responded to the government’s invitation to come for meetings to find ways to solve the problems. “We have also sought a detailed report from the management on how it proposes to make the factory viable, but we are yet to receive it.”

Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee said his department would soon convene a meeting in a bid to solve the problem.