Companies

MRF declares lock-out at Kottayam unit

C. J. Punnathara V. Sajeev Kumar Coimbatore | Updated on March 12, 2018

MRFG

Stand-off with workers over changes in work arrangements

Kochi, June 22







Following a stand-off between the management and workers at Kottayam in Kerala, the Rs 2,383-crore MRF Ltd declared a lock-out at the production unit at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, citing labour unrest.



Official sources in the company said three workers belonging to the INTUC union were suspended last Friday for blocking production on account of certain changes in the working arrangements in the unit.



This was further aggravated today and the situation went out of control forcing the management to declare a lock-out.



The factory, which has a production capacity of 175 tonnes per day, provides employment to 2,300 workers in three shifts.



The company was manufacturing 2,600 tyres a day at the plant. While estimating the daily loss on account of the strike at Rs 3 crore.



Mr A. K. Alichen, a trade union leader, claimed that over 70 per cent of the permanent workers were with the CITU and were averse to the strike and lock-out. Mr Alichen is the Kottayam District Secretary of CITU.



He said there were around 1,900 workers in the factory, with 400 contract workers and 200 casual workers.



He said the stand-off arose when a small number of workers of the other union started blocking the movement of goods into and out of the factory.



The company had declared a layoff on Saturday which was followed by the lock-out declared today. “It was when the workers came for the morning shift today that they found the factory gates locked with a company notice informing them of the layoff,” some of the workers said.



Pointing out that over 2,000 families were dependent on the workers' wages, Mr Alichen said the majority of workers were against the strike and the lock-out.



The workers were permitted into the factory during the layoff although no work was assigned to them and they were entitled to 50 per cent of their wages. Now, with a lock-out having been declared, they would not be permitted to enter the factory and they were not entitled to their wages either.



The Regional Labour Commissioner has convened a meeting on Thursday to sort out the issue. It is not certain if the management will participate in the meeting.



The company's shares closed down 4.06 per cent at Rs 6,308.85 on the BSE.



(With inputs from Swetha Kannan in Chennai.)

Published on June 22, 2011

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