IJMA representatives meet WB Labour Minister
Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) on Monday met state labour minister Purnendu Bose where it was decided that the state government would initiate all possible moves to find out an interim solution to the ongoing crisis in the jute industry.
IJMA would soon approach West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with a representation on the major problems confronting the jute industry.
Bose, informed IJMA representatives that the problems prevailing in the industry, especially on the few and delayed disbursement orders for the supply of jute bags by the Central Government had already been taken up at the appropriate levels of the state and union governments.
He said that the state government was fully aware of the heinous attacks launched by the synthetic lobby to ruin the state's industry.
Bose assured that the state government will make all efforts to save the jute industry, but before that the industry will have to take the workers and farmers of this industry into confidence and move ahead.
He requested the industry body to take forward the ongoing negotiation process of industry wide wage settlement with the labour unions with a positive and pragmatic approach.
IJMA representatives put forward their point of view that a holistic approach towards wage settlement is required for sustained viability of jute mills in West Bengal and the state should take into consideration for an uniform labour policy for all jute goods producing units within West Bengal.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to set up a Group of Ministers committee consisting of Bose, Amit Mitra, the state finance, commerce and industry and information technology minister, Partha Chatterjee, the state education and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Subroto Mukherjee and also the Secretary General of the All India Trinamool Congress (A.I.T.C) to go deep into the details of the problems of jute industry and find out solutions, from seeds to farming, manufacturing, labour and productivity, R&D, sales and marketing including exports and imports of jute bags from Bangladesh.
IJMA members expressed concern on the overrunning of the industry by miscreants, criminals and anti-socials.
In IJMA's opinion this was because of multiple trade union activity in this industry. Inter and intra-union rivalry is giving birth to criminal activity in most mills.
The ghastly development at North Brook Jute is an example of its adverse outcome. IJMA representatives strongly demanded on the introduction of an 'one industry union' or a 'collective bargaining agent' in the state's jute sector.
Bose assured that the matter would be considered at the appropriate time with proper intervention from all stakeholders of the industry.
(Posted on 23-06-2014)