Tripartite meeting to solve problems of rubber corpn. workers

NAGERCOIL, AUG. 21. The Government will convene a tripartite meeting once in three months to solve the problems of the management and works of the Arasu Rubber Corporation Limited, Keeripparai, to make the unit profitable, said the Health Minister, N. Thalavai Sundaram, said today.

Speaking after distributing the dearness allowance arrears to works at Keeripparai, he said representatives of trade unions and the management and the MLAs would attend the meeting. He also sought the co-operation of workers in increasing the production.

The Government permitted the management to pay the dearness allowance arrears to the workers, from April 1, 2002 to August 1, 2004, in three instalments.

Earlier the meeting, convened by the Minister, witnessed an uproarious scene after the trade union representatives alleged that the Industrial Relation Officer, K. Renganathan, was not co-operating with the workers in finding out an early solution to their demands.

The LPF general secretary, Sukumaran Mony, said the management was only keen on exploiting the workers, and least bothered about their welfare. The production had come down, as the workers could not tap rubber milk from the aged trees (above 60 years).

The Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Gautham Dey, said the management could not concede the demands, as the unit did not make any profit in the last five years. The unit was likely to incur a loss of Rs. 1.7 crores this year. No bankers, he said, came forward to lend assistance for planting rubber saplings.

The Minister assured the management and the workers that the Government would give all assistance to make the unit profitable.