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Another jute mill in West Bengal bites the dust post demonetisation

Jute bags at a mill in West Bengal’s North 24 Paraganas. File photo

Jute bags at a mill in West Bengal’s North 24 Paraganas. File photo  

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As the cash crunch bit in further, another big jute mill in West Bengal’s North 24 Paraganas shut down on Tuesday for an indefinite period.

The Nadia Jute Mill management said in a notice that it had “failed” to pay electricity bills and the workers’ weekly allowance due to the severe “cash crunch.”

“Thus we have no choice but to shut down the mill as the situation slid from bad to worse,” an employee said.

The Trinamool Congress-affiliated (INTTUC) union said workers were not paid their bi-weekly salaries on December 10 and the decision to suspend operations was an attempt to deny salaries due on December 25.

The union said “while the management claims that disconnection of electricity to the mill is one of the reasons for the closure, workers cannot be held responsible for such issues.”

The power supply to the factory was cut early on Tuesday morning forcing the company to shut down the plant.

3,500 workers affected

The leader of CITU-led unions, Biplab Ganguly, said about 3,500 employees, both contractual and permanent workers, were left jobless.

On Tuesday morning the workers reached the mill to find a “suspension of work” notice at the gate.

Ram Pravesh Singh, representing National Union of Jute Workers said the management did not pay salaries to workers on December 10 citing demonetisation impact.

He alleged that the closure was “an excuse” to refuse salaries to the workers, but the management denied the charge.

Earlier this month Shree Hanuman Jute Mill in Howrah district closed with the management blaming demonetisation, and the absence of currency.

This led to “non-cooperation activities” among some workers which “increased day-by-day causing labour unrest and unlawful violence,” the mill officials said explaining their decision to cease normal operations..

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:35:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Another-jute-mill-in-West-Bengal-bites-the-dust-post-demonetisation/article16920140.ece

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