Rourkela: Members of several labour unions today began a 24-hour demonstration in front of the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) seeking fulfilment of an eight-point charter of demands including wage revision. Thousands of labourers and employees have launched a protest since 5 am in front of different gates of the plant.
Members of almost all trade unions had taken out a dharna at Birsa Munda square in the city yesterday over the demands. While today, an even bigger mass of labourers have taken to the streets today at SAIL chhak, Hirakud Chhak, Fertiliser Gate and Birsa Munda chowk in the city.
The cease work stir is said to have severely hit the production in the Navaratna company.
“We demand payment of arrears, implementation of 9 per cent pension, 15 per cent growth in Minimum Guaranteed Benefit (MGB) on basic pay, perks and other benefits with withdrawal of action against the laid off labourers. Our demands also include a job to one of the family members of the employees who died of Covid-19,’ said a protesting worker.
The entire trade union is behind the strike and all the organisations are united for this cause. The agitation will be intensified further if the company authorities turn deaf ears to our demands, he added.
“Production in the entire plant has come to a grinding halt. The plant authorities have to hear the voice of the labourers or else the agitation will continue,” warned another demonstrator.
All the employees of the plant have extended co-operation to us. We appeal to the management to come to discuss with us,” another protesting labourer said.
Meanwhile, Regional Labour Commissioner took the labour unrest seriously. Dubbing the agitation unlawful, he urged the demonstrators to immediately report before the concerned departments failing which they would face disciplinary action, even suspension.
As per sources, the wage agreement of the workers is revised every five year. But, the SAIL management has reportedly failed to finalise the wage revision this time which has irked the labour unions.