Hindalco plans to set up extrusion press

Staff Reporter

Trade unions to discuss proposal today

Smelter unit to be dismantled

Unions want all employees accommodated

KOCHI: A combined general body meeting of trade unions at the smelter division of Aditya Birla group’s Hindalco unit at Alupuram on Thursday is expected to draw up a decision on a proposal by the company management to set up a new extrusion press and to offer the golden handshake to about 150 workers who are part of the smelter division, now shut down for over four years on account of high cost of electricity.

A spokesman for the trade unions said on Wednesday that Hindalco (formerly Indal) management had made it clear that it did not intent to revive the smelter unit since the cost of electricity had made its operations unviable.

Instead, the management proposed setting up a new extrusion press at an investment of Rs.50 crore that would need around 80 employees. The management had also proposed that since the smelter unit was not being revived it would be dismantled.

When the company management asked 231 of the smelter unit employees to ‘stay at home’ about four years ago, it had cited high cost of electricity as the reason for suspension of operations of the unit. These employees have been receiving their salaries over the shutdown period.

The trade unions have not been able to reach a decision on the proposal by the management. The unions, in their counter proposal, claimed that since the current extrusion press had 154 permanent employees, six casual workers and 150 contract labourers, it would be possible to accommodate all the 231 employees of the smelter division in the new unit.

A discussion between top officials of Hindalco and trade union representatives convened at the State capital did not yield a consensus on the proposal by the company management.

Additional Labour Commissioner A.K. Mohandas has been appointed the conciliatory officer and the trade unions and the managements have been directed to reach a consensus.

Thursday’s meeting of the smelter unit employees is scheduled for 8 a.m. at the Aluminium Factory Workers’ Union Office.

Smelter unit to be dismantled

Unions want all employees accommodated

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