Hind Motors unions clash

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By OUR BUREAU in Calcutta
  • Published 28.03.07

Uttarpara/Calcutta, March 28: Around 30 people were injured when workers belo- nging to Citu and a joint platform of striking unions clashed outside Hindustan Mo- tors’ Uttarpara factory this morning.

The trouble started when employees owing allegiance to Citu tried to force their way into the plant during a strike called by workers belonging to the Sangrami Shramik Karmachari Union — the workers’ body in the majority — Intuc and Aituc.

Once they managed to get in, the Citu members allegedly hurled brickbats and glass bottles at members of the rival unions outside, resulting in the fracas.

The striking workers ransacked the canteen outside the factory and beat up employees there.

Serampore subdivisional police officer Ajay Thakur went to the spot with a large contingent and dispersed the striking workers. “The workers belonging to the striking unions had gathered at the factory gate since morning. They hurled stones at each other. Both sides have lodged FIRs,” he said.

No one has been arrested. A police picket was set up after the clash.

The Hindustan Motors management today filed a petition in Calcutta High Court, alleging that employees belonging to the Karmachari Union were preventing willing workers from reporting for duty.

Acting on the plea, Justice Deepankar Dutta directed Hooghly police to ensure peace at the factory.

The judge said he needs more information to pass a definite order. He asked the management and the unions to file fresh affidavits describing the situation at the plant since March 13, the day the strike started.

The Sangrami Shramik Karmachari Union argued that it had not done anyth-ing that amounted to interference in the running of the factory.

The strike was called by the Sangrami Shramik Karmachari Union to protest against the suspension of 15 employees and alleged non-payment of salary for two months. Intuc and Aituc have supported the call, which Citu is opposing.

The Uttarpara plant of the CK Birla group flagship has around 5,000 employees but suffers a loss of about Rs 20 crore a year. It rolls out 12,000 Ambassadors a year, down from 28,000 during its heyday.