Around 4,000 people turned jobless with closure of two jute mills as the mill authorities failed to give payment to workers due to demonetisation.
There are around 800 workers in Kanoria Jute Mill at Fuleswar in Howrah. They had not been getting their payments for the past two weeks and it led to resentment among the workers.
In protest of the delay in their payment, the workers refused to work for the past two days. All the workers were present in the mill on Wednesday night, but they didn’t work as a mark of protest against no payment for the past two weeks.
They found the gates of the mill closed from inside when they came to join the work on Thursday morning.
Protesting against the closure of the mill for an indefinite period without any prior notice, the workers staged a demonstration outside the gate of the mill. They demanded their payment immediately or else asked to reopen the mill.
Liakat Ali, INTTUC leader, said: “The mill authorities had failed to clear the payment of the employees due to the hasty decision of the Centre to demonetise high value notes.”
Nadia Jute Mill at Naihati in North 24-Parganas also closed on Thursday morning after failing to give payment to the workers. It turned around 3,000 people jobless.
It is learnt that in this mill as well the authorities had failed to clear the payment of the workers and it led to the closure of the mill.
The workers had heard that the authorities were about to close the bill on December 10 due to demonetisation. But it remained opened for another one month and finally closed on Thursday. The workers put up a road block protesting against the closure of the mill and it led to massive traffic congestion in the area.
It may be mentioned that the state government had taken immediate step soon after the demonetisation was announced to help workers their payments. In a tripartite meeting, jute mill authorities had agreed to deposit salary of their workers in the latter’s provident fund accounts as biweekly payments in the mills had stopped due to non-availability of lower denomination notes.
At present there are 2.5 lakh workers in the jute mills in the state. Since the state government had taken the immediate steps only two mills had closed and rests are running, said an INTTUC leader.