ORIND workers arrested

Rourkela: Over 300 workers of a refractory unit and their family members staging a blockade on NH-23 at Lathikata near here were arrested today by police to clear the road.

Led by independent MLA George Tirkey, employees of Orind and their family members staged a mass dharna on the National Highway since Wednesday demanding payment of their wages for the last 14 months and payment of statutory benefit to retired, deceased and resigned employees.

Tirkey, legislator from Biramitrapur in Sundargarh district, said about 300 workers and their family members were arrested from the dharana site and that the protesters would observe fast till their demand is fulfilled.

Police said the arrested persons numbering about 300 were kept at a community centre, converted into a temporary jail.

Earlier, Tirkey, President of Lathikata Mazdoor Manch had rejected the state government`s offer to participate in the high level meeting scheduled to be held at Bhubaneswar on October 19.

Tirkey said road blockade would be resumed by other workers of the factory and their family members even though police arrested them.

A lockout had been declared in May this year in the factory where production had stopped several months ago with workers claiming non-payment of wages and other dues for last 14 months.