The employees of Salbani currency Printing Press threatened to stop the ‘overtime’, which they have been doing after the announcement of demonetisation.
A section of the employees of this currency printing press at West Midnapore has already written to the authorities that they will stop the extra work. They threatened to discontinue working beyond ‘nine-hour shift’ at any time.
The sudden ‘turnaround’ by the employees made the authority concerned.
The mint in Salboni was commissioned in the nineties when Bimal Jalan was the RBI governor. The mint is a property of Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited which is a wholly owned subsidiary of RBI. This printing press prints around 96 million notes daily with workers putting in two shifts of 12-hours duration each.
The Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) Employees’ Association issued a notice to the authorities that several of their members have fallen ill due to continuous overtime shifts since December 14. The authority, however, calculated that the production will be reduced by 30 per cent, if the protesting employees refused to do the extra work.
“This Currency Printing Press circulates currency notes not only across the Bengal, but also in a large portion of North East India and Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” an officer said.
Around 700 employees working at the Salboni facility are affiliated to BRBNMPL Employees’ Association. The press prints all currency denominations from Rs 10 to Rs 2,000.
“The output at nine-hour shift would be 34 million notes, a total of 68 million in two shifts. The shortfall would be of 28 million notes from the present output level,” said Nepal Singh, secretary of the association.
Trinamool Congress MP Sisir Adhikari is the president of Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) Employees’ Association.
“Many employees have fallen ill in this organisation. Situation is the same at Mysore as well. Since December 14, all employees were forced by the authorities to do 12-hour shifts so that round-the-clock printing of notes could be done to meet the sudden huge demand of notes especially of Rs 500 and Rs 100 denominations,” said Adhikari.
“The Central government should understand that workers are not slaves. We have repeatedly requested the authority to recruit in vacant posts. They paid no heed to it,” Adhikari added.