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Thursday, Aug 29, 2002

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Birla Jute Mills to reopen today

Our Bureau

KOLKATA, Aug. 28

BIRLA Jute Mills of Birla Corporation Ltd is reopening tomorrow following an agreement reached at the office of the Additional Labour Commissioner, West Bengal, here today, according to an official release by the company. The highlight of the agreement is said to be the productivity-linked wages, covering all sections of the mill.

Those who signed the agreement, in the presence of the Additional Commissioner, included representatives of the company and various trade unions. Birla Jute Mills has been closed since March 16, when its workers went on a strike as the management wanted to implement productivity-linked wages, as per the tripartite agreement signed on January 5.

The earlier agreement had run into rough weather immediately after it was initialled and there seemed to be a general lack of purpose regarding its implementation, says the release. On June 12, a settlement was reached at Soorah Mills, the company's other jute mill, where the piece-rated workers were covered by productivity-linked wages.

After protracted negotiations, the company, it is clarified, has been able to convince the unions/employees in both jute mills about the rationality of productivity-linked wages in an industry whose survival is at stake.

Birla Jute is said to be the first mill in the jute sector to implement the agreement of January this year, the signatories being industry, trade unions and the State Government.

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