In a refreshing change, the employees union at Bata India's Batanagar factory near here has asked the management to invest and modernise the unit to improve productivity at the company's oldest facility.
"We have asked the Bata management to invest and modernise the Batanagar factory for raising productivity and also to recruit more people on the rolls," said Subir Chakraborty, General Secretary of Bata Mazdoor Union, the sole bargaining agent at the (Batanagar) factory.
The union comprises elected members from major political parties like the Trinamool Congress, Congress and CPI(M). He said that the factory, which was set up more than 80 years back, was still the biggest facility of the company.
Bata India, which has also has manufacturing units at Patna, Bangalore and Faridabad, once manufactured 3.5 crore pairs per year at the Batanagar factory. Now, the production at the factory has come down to almost one crore pairs a year, but more than the combined output of all the other units, he told reporters here on Thursday.
"We are happy that the management has started investing in the factory and we assure that there will be no problem in future," he said. Bata India, which started from Kolkata, later shifted its headquarter to Gurgaon following major trade unionism issues.
The Batanagar unit was employing 1,574 workers and another 1,000 indirectly. "It is in the interest of West Bengal that the Batanagar factory should flourish," he said.