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Friday, Aug 16, 2002

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XLRI to help Tatas reskill VRS-optees

Kohinoor Mandal

Recently in Jamshedpur

FOR the Tatas, it is never a `bye bye' for employees, even for those who have prematurely left the organisation through the VRS route.

Consequently, some of the Tata companies located in the region have approached the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) and asked it to create a cell for retraining these people for redeployment purposes.

XLRI is a business management school created by the Jesuit Society at the request of the Tatas to educate trade union leaders about their role in the proper functioning of an organisation.

Fr P.D. Thomas, Director of XLRI, said the Tata companies had also requested for the creation of a placement cell for the retired people.

"In our society, a middle-aged person is recognised by his job and the organisation in which he is working. These people might have money, but in their retired life, which has come quite early in their career, they find that they lose out on their social significance. We will try to help them so that new avenues are created for them," Fr Thomas told Business Line.

He said the companies which had approached XLRI were Tata Iron & Steel Company, Tata Engineering & Locomotive Company, Telco Construction Company and Tinplate Company of India. All these companies, and others located in the region had undertaken massive manpower reduction programmes in the last few years.

Though there was no official data about the number of people who have taken VRS residing in Jamshedpur, Fr Thomas said the number was quite large.

He explained there were two categories of people who were employed in Jamshedpur. In the first, there were those who came to Jamshedpur to serve out a temporary arrangement. So when they opted for the VRS, they moved out of the region.

"The second set of people comprises those who have settled down in Jamshedpur for good. We are concerned mostly about these people. We will try to retrain them so that they get another job either in the new companies or with the Jharkhand Government," Fr Thomas said.

The XLRI Director said everything was still at the discussion stage and the companies had not yet been able to allocate funds with the help of which retraining sessions can begin. "The companies are yet to come out of the financial doldrums," he said.

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