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West Bengal govt convenes tripartite meeting on HM

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-05-2014 PTI

Kolkata: The West Bengal labour department has convened a tripartite meeting on Tuesday to break the impasse on Hindustan Motors which declared suspension of work at Uttarpara plant on Saturday.

Facing acute shortage of funds and lack of demand for its Ambassador cars, the HM management declared the suspension of work, throwing into uncertainty the future of around 2,500 employees, including both workers and managerial personnel.

“The Labour Department has convened a tripartite meeting tomorrow at the Deputy Labour Commissioner’s office on Hindustan Motors,” labour commissioner Javed Akhtar said.

“The company has declared suspension of work at the Uttarpara plant. We can always dissuade the HM management to lift the lock-out,” Akhtar said.

HR professionals said that no management was able to declare a closure or lock-out due to reasons like funds crunch, or lack of demand of products.

“In case of financial crisis, or demand fall, the workers are not at all responsible and it is the failure of management to study the market conditions and act accordingly,” a senior HR professional said.

Declaring a lock-out for reasons like these were not legally tenable, as they were not labour-related and could be contested in court, he said.

Meanwhile, the company maintained that it was not possible to run the factory, as it was suffering losses of `7 crore per month and net worth had turned negative, suffering losses for the last 15 years.

The company had been scouting for new investors for fund infusion in HM.

Earlier, promoter and chairman of the company C.K. Birla had resigned, and later CEO and MD Uttam Bose had stepped down.

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