VB Bakery employees strike enters third day

Staff of the well-known VB Bakery in Vishweshwarapuram struck work for the third day on Friday over delays in wages and non-payment of dues, PF and ESI for employees. Though employees went on strike on Wednesday, the bakery was open for business for two days. However, three outlets in the city were forced to close down on Friday afternoon as they ran out of stock of baked goods. At the time of going to press, the management had yet to reach out to the employees’ union for talks.

One of the striking employees and leader of the union, Rajesh, told The Hindu that wages had been irregular even before the pandemic struck. He claimed there had been no hike in salaries for four years. “The company, though, has been deducting PF and ESI contributions from the employees, which has not been remitted into our accounts for years now. Of the 80 employees, 40 were nearing or over 50 years of age and were forced to retire. The management has not settled the accounts of any of them. Five of them have since passed away,” he said.

Vishweshwarapuram Brahmins’ (VB) Bakery was started in 1953 by Thirumalachar from Hassan at Sajjan Rao Circle. Before the pandemic, the management had expanded to ten outlets, but subsequent losses forced it to shut many of them. Now there are only three outlets, sources said.

D.A. Vijay Bhaskar, general secretary, All India Trade Union Congress, who is supporting the strike, said earlier the management used to credit the employees’ union account with ₹30,000 every day, from which salaries were paid. “The management discontinued the arrangement before the pandemic, claiming they would pay staff their salaries themselves. However, that has not been the case,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 3:53:44 AM |

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