The employees of Coupon, a multi-brand outlet located in Aspire mall at Arayadathupalam in Kozhikode, staged a sit out and dharna in front of the mall and gheraoed the operating manager of the shop on Wednesday demanding immediate redressal of their problems.
The employees, under the aegis of the Asanghatita Meghala Thozhilali Union (AMTU), is on the second stage of protest against the management’s policy of keeping them in the dark regarding the rumoured closedown of the store and on matters of their Provident Fund, ESI and other benefits.
The five-year-old store is owned by Prateek Lifestyle Private Limited while the employees are appointed by another company named Adecco. When the employees questioned about the closedown and about their benefits, a meeting was fixed for September 21 with the trade union leaders, but the management representatives refused to turn up. As a result, the employees gheraoed the managerial staff, and HR head of Prateek Lifestyle Thomas Abraham intervened to set a meeting on September 23.
Representatives of Prateek Lifestyle, Adecco, and AMTU took part in the meeting in which the employees made six demands including settlement of their salary arrears and disclosure of all details and documents regarding their Provident Fund accounts.
30 days notice
They also demanded that the employees be given 30 days notice before the close down of the shop or else one month salary as compensation.
The management agreed to some of the demands, but refused to put them on paper.
A long strike was held on that day from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. after which the police intervened and scheduled another discussion on September 25, for which none of the management representatives turned up. The irate employees were then forced to strike and block the operating manager of the store.