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Transfer protest at Tata firm

Jamshedpur, March 15: Around 130 trainees of Tata Cummins, a 50-50 joint venture between automobile giant Tata Motors and US-based Cummins Inc, went on the warpath today to protest against the management’s decision to transfer them to the company’s Pune plant.

The agitating trainees staged a blockade in front of Tata Cummins gate in Telco in the morning, preventing other employees from entering the premises and prompting the management to seek help from police.

The company, which makes diesel engines, issued a notice on March 1, ordering transfer of all the trainees from its steel city plant to Pune base. But the trainees are not willing to shift.

“We had joined the company’s two-year training programme seven years ago. Some of us came here nine years ago. Even after the completion of the training, the company kept us engaged as trainees all these years with the assurance that we would be regularised sooner or later. Now, the management have decided to transfer all the trainees to Pune in the same position,” said Muna Shankar Pandey, one of the protesters.

A 2007-batch trainee, Pandey added that they all had joined Tata Cummins because they were offered job in Jamshedpur itself. “Our parents stay here. We will continue our fight to stay back here,” he said.

No one from the company could be contacted for comment despite repeated attempts.

The trainees, however, lifted the three-hour-long blockade around 12.30 even as a police team was deployed to keep the situation under control.

Steel city SP Karthik S., who was monitoring the blockade, said a police party was sent to the site only to ensure that the protest did not lead to any law and order problem.

“The police were there only to keep the situation under control. We also urged the protesters to not create any chaos,” Karthik told The Telegraph.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the trainees met state labour minister K.N. Tripathy at Tinplate Workers’ Union office at Golmuri, seeking his help. But, Tripathy said that he would not be able to do anything in this regard at the moment in view of the model code of conduct.

“We will definitely get the issue resolved once the Lok Sabha elections are over,” the minister told the media after attending an Intuc programme at Tilak Pushtakalaya in Bistupur.

The trainees are now planning to continue their agitation under the leadership of JMM man Ramesh Hansda after the Holi.


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