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300 workers protest at Incab gate

Tension prevailed in Golmuri on Monday after more than 300 non-officer grade employees landed up at the gates of Incab Industries, demanding to be allowed to resume work after more than a decade.

On being refused permission to enter the factory premises, the workers, who had been told to report for duty by a former general manager of the company, got into fierce arguments with security staff.

Sensing trouble, the company management called the police, but despite that, the agitated workers forced out 127 employees who had been working inside the factory. The 127 were appointed on minimum wages three years ago.

The workers who were prevented from entering the factory then marked their attendance on a register.

While the commotion was on, Golmuri police station officer-in-charge I.B. Ojha arrived at the scene and summoned general manager Prem Sagar Singh and erstwhile general manager R.B. Singh to the office of deputy superintendent of police, K.N. Chowdhury.

After hearing out both and going through documents, the DSP warned R.B. Singh not to meddle in the affairs of the company any more as he had ceased to be an employee.

“As the matter is pending at various levels in court, I have asked the management of Incab Industries to maintain status quo. I have asked the former GM not to meddle in company affairs as he is no longer in service,” Chowdhury told The Telegraph.

According to sources, the root of Monday’s troubles lay in an order passed by deputy labour commissioner M.N. Thakur on October 19, 2012, that R.B. Singh used to goad the workers. The order, a copy of which is with The Telegraph, does not ask employees to rejoin work.

However, claiming that the deputy labour commissioner’s letter had asked the workers to rejoin duty after nearly a decade, some close associates of the former GM went door-to-door, asking the workers to report for work on Monday.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Prem Sagar Singh said the deputy labour commissioner could not have asked the workers to resume work as the matter of how the ailing unit can be rescued was now pending with BIFR and also Jharkhand High Court.

“There was no such order. Therefore, I can say that whatever happened today was a mischievous act of R.B. Singh. Only when the matters of the company are settled at BIFR and also in Jharkhand High Court, will employees be asked to rejoin work,” said the general manager.

Meanwhile, R.B. Singh, when contacted, admitted that he had issued a notice on the basis of the deputy labour commissioner’s letter, and had asked the workers to join the company from January 21.

“I have been fighting for the workers so that they get their jobs back. At present, only 127 workers are engaged, getting over Rs 5,000 per month as salary, while the rest are jobless. My point is when all employees have the right to work, they should go to the company and sign the attendance registrar. But the company management did not allow that,” he said.

The company, declared sick in 1999, has over 1,000 employees, most of whom are engaged in small jobs either in construction companies or Adityapur industrial area.