Chittivalasa Jute Mill Workers Union, the recognised union affiliated to INTUC, has demanded immediate lifting of the lockout in the mill and arrest of the management representatives.

Addressing a media conference here on Saturday, INTUC State general secretary K.S. Mohan Kumar and workers union president K.V.N. Raju said that the jute mill management had imposed a lockout on April 20, 2009 without intimating the recognised union.

The INTUC has been pursuing the matter with the State Government and peoples' representatives ever since.

The State Government had issued a G.O. on August 20, 2009 prohibiting the continuance of the lockout.

A show cause notice was issued to the management on September 2 for not lifting the lockout. The management filed a writ petition and obtained a stay order from the High Court on the same day. The writ petition was dismissed on March 12, 2010.

The union leaders said that a charge sheet was filed by the Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Visakhapatnam, for violation of the G.O. before the 2{+n}{+d} Additional Chief Magistrate Court, Visakhapatnam on February 23 this year and the case was posted for July 1. Charge sheets were also filed for non-payment of bonus and for non-production of registers under the Payment of Bonus Act and the Minimum Wages Act before the IX Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Bheemunipatnam on March 25 this year.

Both these cases have been posted for hearing on May 27.

Charge sheets under unfair labour practice for continuance of lockout were sent to the Directors on May 7. Dr. Mohan Rao said that the negligence of a Government officer had helped the management in obtaining a stay from the High Court. Now that the stay has been vacated, the mill has to be reopened immediately.

He said that the workers have to be paid three times their wages for the entire lockout period under the Industrial Disputes Act as the lockout was declared ‘illegal'. He appealed to other trade unions also to support the INTUC in its fight for the cause of workers.

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