Calcutta, Nov. 1: State labour minister Purnendu Bose today said he would write to his Union counterpart Mallikarjun Kharge about the “violation” of a number of labour laws by ABG Infralogisitics Ltd, one of the promoters of Haldia Bulk Terminals (HBT).
“They violated labour laws at various levels. We have decided to take these up with the Centre. Tomorrow, I will write in detail about it to the central labour commissioner as well as the Union labour minister,” Bose said.
Bose cited three “violations” — ABG’s sacking 275 workers allegedly through text messages, non-payment of provident fund and ESI dues of the workers and pulling out of the port without paying employees their dues.
“You cannot retrench anybody just by shooting a text message. Proper norms and guidelines will have to be followed,” the minister said, adding the state government had “specific information” that the workers were not paid their PF and ESI dues.
The company announced only yesterday its intention to leave.
“The existing 300-plus workers were not even paid their due wages before the company announced it would leave Haldia,” Bose added.
ABG denied the charges. The company said it had paid the 275 workers three months’ basic salary before terminating them.
A source close ABG said the text messages the sacked workers received was from a bank. “The bank informed the sacked workers through text messages that the money under the severance package had been deposited in their accounts. ABG paid them their dues in accordance with the agreement. The company also sent the workers letters informing them about the decision to terminate them. They got the letters a few days after the text message,” an ABG official said.
He also denied the allegation on PF and ESI dues. “The sacked workers don’t have any PF or ESI dues. The charge is baseless. ABG has started paying the rest of the employees.”