Pricol executive’s death sends shock waves in Coimbatore

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Industrial organisations plan protest closure.

Our Bureau

Coimbatore, Sept 22

The death today of Mr Roy George (45), Vice-President (Human Resource) of auto component major Pricol Ltd, who was injured in an attack allegedly by some workers in the factory premises at Perianaickenpalayam near here on Monday, has shocked Coimbatore’s corporate community.

Mr George suffered multiple injuries in an attack allegedly by some workers upset over the dismissal of some compatriots at the company’s another production facility. Terming the death ‘very, very unfortunate’, Mrs Vanitha Mohan, Executive Director, Pricol, said she suspected that Mr George was ‘specifically targeted’ because of the measures he had initiated, since he joined service a few months back, to wean the workers away from a union affiliated to the CPI (ML) that has been agitating on various demands.

She said 42 workers of a Pricol facility near Kuniamuthur were dismissed from service on Monday due to what she called their persistent go-slow tactics. Mrs Vanitha Mohan said that police protection has been sought for some workers who, she said, were trying to reason with those agitating.

Mr Mahendra Ramdas, President, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Coimbatore, told Business Line that leaders of various industrial organisations are planning a day’s closure to protest against the violence and express solidarity with Pricol.

Mr Jayakumar Ramdass, President, Southern India Engineering Manufacturers’ Association (Siema), Coimbatore, said unchecked, such incidents could lead to the return of labour militancy to Coimbatore.

He said Coimbatore has of late been attracting investments by national and international companies, such as Suzlon, L&T, Flowserve, and Mitsubishi Corporation, and labour militancy could affect inflows.

It could also lead to local industries making fresh investments elsewhere. Such violence may also scare away executives from outside.

Various industrial associations of Coimbatore have in a memorandum to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M. Karunanidhi, and the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr M. K. Stalin, sought steps to ensure industrial peace in Coimbatore.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 23, 2009)
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