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Probe hope in Haldia layoffs

Calcutta, Feb. 20: Labour minister Purnendu Bose today said that his counterpart in Delhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, has written to him that a tribunal would probe the alleged violation of labour laws by ABG Infralogistics in the sacking of Haldia Bulk Terminals workers before its exit.

Asked if there was any violation, an HBT spokesperson said: “All the laws of the land were complied with in carrying out the retrenchment.”

HBT had sacked 623 workers in two phases before exiting the port in November last year. ABG is one of its promoters, the other being LDA of France. The port handler had cited “unsafe working conditions” as the reason for its exit after some officials were allegedly abducted and sent packing off to Calcutta.

Kharge’s letter today is in response to the one Bose wrote on November 12 alleging that ABG violated labour laws by sacking the workers and exiting the port without paying the employees their dues.

Quoting Kharge’s letter, Bose said: “Whether the alleged action of ABG Infralogistics has violated the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, will be tried by a central tribunal that will give its final report within three months.”

The letter, Bose said, asked labour unions in Haldia to submit their grievances to the administration in 15 days.