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Job protest at Paradip oil mill

EMPLOYMENT CRY: Workers of a private edible oil manufacturing company demonstrate in front of the oil plant in Paradip on Wednesday. Telegraph pictures

Paradip: Braving intermittent rain, some 154 workers of a private edible oil manufacturing company defied prohibitory orders and staged a demonstration in front of the plant on Wednesday seeking reemployment.

The protesting workers were retrenched last year following a change in ownership of the plant. As the workers, flanked by their family members, squatted right in front of the plant gate, police shied away from taking recourse to coercive action apprehending breach of law-and-order situation.

"Prohibitory orders under Section144 of Criminal Procedure Code had been clamped at the plant site. The assembly of people was unlawful. Still we refrained from arresting them as the agitation was entirely peaceful and incident-free," said additional superintendent of police Bishnu Charan Mishra.

"Adequate police deployment has been made at the protest site. We are keeping a close watch on the situation," he added.

Nearly 152 workers who were employed at edible oil company Cargil Limited were rendered jobless after the company was shutdown on September 15, 2016. Later, it was taken over by Adani-Wilmar Limited. After the change in proprietorship, the maintenance work of the new unit had resumed last month. However the new ownership did not seek the services of these workers, triggering labour dispute.

"We are entitled to be reemployed at the plant as per labour law. But, the plant authorities are violating the legal provisions by seeking services of new workers from outside the state. The local administration is yet to intervene to mitigate our plight," alleged general secretary of Cargil Shramik Sangha Kedar Sethy.

"We have toiled in the oil mill for 12 years. Under labour laws, we are legally entitled to be reemployed in the new company. But, the new company is ignoring our just demand for reemployment. Their want to recruit fresh workers from outside the state," he added.

Adani Wilmar Limited authorities were not available for comments.

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