Altogether 52 of the 54 jute mills in West Bengal, employing 2.5 lakh people were closed on Monday, after an indefinite strike was called by 19 unions demanding payment of dearness allowance, provident fund, gratuity, bonus and minimum wages.

The unions also want the Jute Corporation of India (JCI) procure bales directly from farmers for supply to the mills.

General Secretary of Bengal Chatkal Mazdoor Union, Gobinda Guha, told PTI that 52 to of the 54 mills were closed.

The Central Jute Mill at Budge Budge and the Meghna Jute Mill at Jagaddal were open.

“We hope that the two mills, which remain open, will respond to the strike call,” he said.

However, a meeting with the Chairman of Indian Jute Manufacturer’s Association (IJMA) Sanjay Kajeria remained inconclusive.

The Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh affiliated to the BJP also joined the strike.