Paper mill workers set June-end deadline
The Cachar Paper Project Workers’ Union will launch a series of steps if the government does not take any measure to revive the state’s two paper mills and clear the workers’ pending salaries by this month.
Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Hailakandi district and Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad in Morigaon district have been lying non-functional since October 2015 and March 2017, respectively. The mill workers have not received their salaries for more than two years.
President of the union and chief convener of the HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee Manabendra Cha-kraborty on Monday said they would take a series of steps to revive the mills and remit the workers’ pending salaries.
The committee, which has been raising its voice aggressively over the issue for the past several months, is a conglomerate of workers’ unions of the two mills.
Chakraborty said the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in New Delhi on May 29 (in a hearing held over an appeal submitted by the union against the liquidation order given by the National Company Law Tribunal on May 2) ordered that the service of the mills should continue and workers should attend their duties as usual. The NCLAT had also said the government should consider the matter with priority and directed Kuldeep Verma, appointed to conduct the liquidation process, to approach the Centre over the mills’ revival and clearing of dues, he added.
Chakraborty said he was sanguine that the government would take the NCLAT’s words seriously and initiate measures to revive the industrial units and clear the dues.
Dipak Chandra Nath, a convener of the HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee, said they would explore further legal routes and knock on the doors of the appropriate forum if the government does not take any initiative soon.
Taking a swipe at the government, the union president said, “The government only made promises about reviving the mills and clearing the workers’ pending salaries
but it has done nothing so far. We want the government to take some measures at the earliest.” Another committee convener Sanjeev Roy said Verma should take up the matter with the Centre immediately so that the issue gets resolved as soon as possible. “We will decide our next plan of action soon if the government does not take any step,” he added.
Asked about clearing the workers’ pending salaries, a senior official of Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited said there was no information on the matter. Silchar BJP MP Rajdeep Roy said he would take up the matter with Union minister for heavy industries and public enterprises Arvind Sawant on his next visit to New Delhi and seek his intervention to revive the mills.
On payment of the workers’ pending salaries, Roy said he was hopeful that the government would initiate necessary steps in the next few days.