Around 2,500 workers got back their jobs on Monday when Hanuman Jute Mill at Ghusuri in Howrah reopened after a month and a half.
The mill had to be closed as the authorities failed to pay wages to its workers due to demonetisation of high value notes.
Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Minister of state for Sports and Youth Services, and the MLA from Howrah North constituency, said: “Malay Ghatak, the state Labour minister, held several meetings with the mill
authorities to sort out the problems so that it can be reopened as soon as possible. We had taken all necessary steps to reopen the mill.”
“Finally, the mill has reopened today and workers have got back their jobs. Sobhandeb Chatterjee, our senior INTTUC [Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress] leader, was also in constant touch with us and extended his full support to help reopening of the mill.”
It may be mentioned that the mill authorities had put up a notice on December 5 stating that “…the delay of payment of wages due to discontinuation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes led to trouble…the management is compelled to declare temporary suspension of work on and from 10 pm on December 5 till further notice.”
On Monday morning, the “temporary suspension of work” was finally withdrawn. The workers gathered outside the mill soon after getting the news that the mill authorities had decided to reopen the factory.
A meeting was held outside the gate of the factory which was attended by Shukla. Goutam Chowdhury, Mayor-in-Council of Howrah Municipal Corporation, and several INTTUC leaders were also present at the meeting.
The reopening of the mill gave workers a huge sigh of relief and they have begun the necessary work to make the mill fully functional in the few days.
It may be mentioned that Hanuman Jute Mill in Howrah is one of the few mills which closed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced demonetisation of high value notes on November 8 last year.
More mills would have been forced to down their shutters if the state government had not taken the step of holding a tripartite meeting with all mill owners and workers’ representatives.
The owners were urged to send the workers payment in their bank accounts to counter the cash crunch.