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Chennai, March 16

Dunlop India's factory at Chennai will reopen on April 10 following an agreement between the management and the Dunlop Factory Employees Union (DFEU) here on Thursday, according to Mr A. Krishnaswamy, President, DFEU.

Under the agreement, maintenance work is to commence on that day and production four months later.

Except for a short stint in 2001 the factory has been out of production since 1998 following a fund crunch. Management representatives of the Kolkata-based Ruia group, which acquired Dunlop in December 2005 from the M.R. Chhabria Group, and the DFEU, have been discussing means to restart operations over the last three months.

The agreement between the management and union will be formalised in the presence of the Tamil Nadu Labour Department officials within the next one week, sources said.

Mr Krishnaswamy said that the factory at Ambattur, the industrial belt on the western outskirts of Chennai, has a workforce of about 1,100, which will be reduced to about 800 in about 2-3 months through a voluntary retirement scheme. They will also take a 20 per cent pay cut. Over 100 workers will start with the maintenance work, he said.

Under the agreement, as a part of recommencement of operations, the management will pay the workers Rs 2,500 on April 10 and an additional Rs 2,500 in May. Six months after production starts the workers will be paid an additional Rs 5,000, he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 17, 2006)
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