Suzlon lockout: Udupi officials meet management, labour leaders

A J Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 15, 2017

Following the lockout at the rotor blade manufacturing unit of Suzlon Energy Ltd (SEL) located in the Suzlon Special Economic Zone (SEZ) near Padubidri in Udupi district, the Deputy Commissioner of Udupi district has written to the SEZ Development Commissioner in Kochi seeking their intervention in the matter.

The unit had suspended its operations and announced a lockout in the early hours of Tuesday.

Priyanka Mary Francis, Udupi Deputy Commissioner, had held a meeting with the representatives of the company management and labour leaders on Tuesday.

She told BusinessLine that she has informed this matter to concerned authorities such as the Development Commissioner of SEZ in Kochi and the Labour Secretary. She got an assurance from the Kochi Development Commissioner that somebody will be deputed to resolve the matter.

Francis had not received any intimation from the Development Commissioner at the time of filing this report.

Since the unit is located in the SEZ, the matter did not come under the jurisdiction of the Labour Commissioner in Udupi.

It is under the jurisdiction of SEZ Development Commissioner in Kochi. Around 500 workers at the plant are affected by this lockout.

‘Go-slow tactics’

A lockout notice at the site said: “In accordance with provisions of Sub Section 2 of Section 22 of Industrial Disputes Act 1947, we hereby give notice to all concerned that it is our intention to effect lockout for all workers whose names are mentioned in Annexure 2 to this notice with effect from November 29, 2017, for the reasons explained in Annexure 1. In the meanwhile, the management has decided to suspend its operations from today (November 14).”

The notice also stated that over the last seven months, workers had indulged in ‘severe go-slow tactics’ resulting in production loss of more than 60 per cent.

In an earlier agreement with the Suzlon Employees Union, it was agreed that the workers would produce a minimum of 14 sets of blades per month from two production lines and 28 sets of blades per month from four production lines.

During April-October 2017, the targeted production was 214 blade sets but only 76 blade sets were produced, it said.

“This is a very serious misconduct on the part of the workers. Plant management had practically on daily basis instructed workers to stop this unbearable go-slow and carry out normal production, but all the efforts of the management have gone in vain,” the notice said.

Speaking to BusinessLine, a company spokesperson said: “Unruly action and behaviour of certain workers has caused hindrance in the smooth operation of the plant.

After several attempts and exploring various peaceful solutions to resolve the matter, the company was constrained and compelled to give a notice to suspend the operations and declare a lockout, effective from November 29 at the rotor blade manufacturing unit to safeguard our people and the property.

“Thus, the decision to suspend the operations is not due to business compulsions but on account of industrial relations.

“Apart from Padubidri, the company has rotor blade manufacturing units spread across six other locations pan-India comprising around 2800 MW capacity. Thus, the suspension of operations at the rotor blade manufacturing unit will not impact our current business activities in any manner,” the spokesperson said.

Published on November 15, 2017
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