Delhi

Atlas Cycles lays off nearly 700 employees

Workers shout slogans during a protest outside the factory after the manufacturers of Atlas Cycles shut their operations due to financial constraints, in Ghaziabad, on Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Workers shout slogans during a protest outside the factory after the manufacturers of Atlas Cycles shut their operations due to financial constraints, in Ghaziabad, on Thursday, June 4, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Arun Sharma

Workers allege that they were not given prior notice; has written to Labour Commissioner

Shiv Kumar Dwivedi reached his office, the Ghaziabad-based Atlas Cycles manufacturing unit, like any other working day and with his lunchbox in tow. But the gates of the company where he had worked for three decades were firmly shut.

Curious, he queried with the security guard. “He pointed his finger towards a notice on the wall. The notice read that due to unavailability of funds to keep the factory running, the management has decided to close it. We repeatedly asked him to call someone from the management as we wanted to talk face to face but we were asked to go back home,” recounted Dwivedi.

After getting no satisfactory reply from the management, the workers staged a protest at the main gate but Ghaziabad Police dispersed them and threatened to book them for violating lockdown rules, said another worker, who wished not to be named.

In the lurch

Around 700 workers were laid off without any notice period from the factory, located in Site IV of Sahibabad. “At least they [management] should have given us prior notice and some time to get another job. We got to know about the shutdown when we reached the factory gate. We do not have any money left as everything was spent during the lockdown. We were hopeful after the factory’s operation resumed on June 1,” said Hemant Kumar, another worker.

Workers are hopeful that Atlas Cycles workers Union will talk to the owners and request them to resume operations. Mahesh Kumar, general secretary of the union, said that there are around 1,000 workers including temporary and permanent employees. He has been working in the factory for the last 20 years. “We have written a letter to the Labour Commissioner of Ghaziabad and requested him to call for a meeting of management and workers, who were laid off to resolve the issue. The way workers were laid off is unethical and violated labour laws,” said Mr. Mahesh, adding that the factory used to produce close to two lakh cycles a month.

Even after repeated attempts, there was no response from the Atlas cycles management.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 3:35:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/cycle-manufacturer-lays-off-nearly-700-employees/article31752056.ece

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