AFT workers hold dharna

Employees of AFT staging a demonstration in front of AFT office in Puducherry on Thursday.— Photo: S.S. Kumar  

The workers affiliated to various trade unions of Anglo French Textile (AFT) Mills on Thursday conducted a demonstration demanding the management to operationalise the mill immediately.

Last week, All Trade Unions’ Action Committee of AFT Mills had decided to conduct a series of agitation to insist their demands. Under its president and AITUC leader V.S. Abishegam, the workers conducted the demonstration in front of AFT main gate urging the Chief Minister N.Rangasamy to recommence the operations of mill immediately as he had promised in the Legislative Assembly.

They also said the management should disburse gratuity and other benefits to those who had retired from service and opted for VRS.

As per the recommendations of Dr. Chenna Reddy committee, the mill should be modernised with financial assistance from the Union Government.

The trade unions said the Union Territory government should obtain Rs.500 crore from the Union Government to modernise and run the mill successfully. Meanwhile, Former Member of Parliament and AIADMK functionary M.Ramadass has proposed to integrate all textile related units under the Pondicherry Textile Corporation (PTC) for revival of the AFT mill.

Pragmatic approach

Urging the government to adopt a pragmatic approach, he said five organizations, namely Jayaprakash Narayanan Spinning Mill at Karaikal, SPINCO at Thirubuvanai (co-operative organisations), AFT at Ayyankuttipalayam, Bharathi and Swadeshi and AFT at Puducherry should be brought under one roof, namely PTC, for effective management.

Stating that the integration would also facilitate large scale production, Dr.Ramadass suggested the appointment of a technocrat who is endowed with administrative acumen, motivation and commitment as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of PTC for a tenure of 5 years.

He added that the integration would be yielding surplus revenue every year which can be used to pay back the huge investment made by the government on AFT in the past.

Alternatively, the surplus funds may be used for further expansion.

“It is quite possible to complete the project in the next 2 years providing job opportunities to about 20,000 persons besides earning additional non-tax revenue to the government which is suffering from a financial crisis,” said Dr.Ramadass.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 7:34:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/aft-workers-hold-dharna/article7087792.ece

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