Workers to be taken into confidence on expansion works

A day after his return from America, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited Chairman-cum-Managing Director A.P. Choudhary on Monday initiated confidence-building measures as part of efforts to boost the morale of the employees shaken by the devastating blast of June 13.

Mr. Choudhary, who later in the evening attended the board meeting of RINL, the corporate entity of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, held discussions with senior leaders of recognised union, Steel Plant Employees’ Union (CITU & AITUC), INTUC and other unions and the Steel Executive Association (SEA).

He agreed to safety audit by third party, taking workers into confidence on launching various expansion works and seeking the opinion of Russians and other experts before commencing trial-run of various units. The plant was established in the early 1980 with the assistance of Russian experts.

The blast at the oxygen house located on the compound of Steel Melt Shop-II has so far claimed 16 lives – 10 belonging to VSP and others contract workers.

All the unions and SEA expressed solidarity with the steps initiated by the management to restore normality. The unions, while expressing concern at the present safety mechanism, promised that they would extend full cooperation for refurbishing the image of the company.

Unions mentioned that RINL had faced different challenges and achieved turnaround on its own and appreciated the announcement on ex gratia and asked Mr. Choudhary to look into more benefits to bereaved family members in one or other form like employment as per qualification and retaining of company quarters.

He said RINL had the expertise and distinction of commissioning most major units successfully and described the June 13 accident as most unfortunate. Mr. Choudhary urged the RINL Collective not to lose confidence and work hard for completing the ongoing expansion work as per schedule. He said the monetary compensation would be handed over to the family members of deceased employees on Tuesday.

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