Prohibitory orders relaxed at JK Paper Mill

Rayagada: A couple of days after Section 144 was imposed at the JK Paper Mill site in Rayagada following demonstration outside the plant by contractual workers, the prohibitory orders were relaxed on Saturday.

Members of JK Paper Mill contract labour union of Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) had earlier submitted a 14-point charter of demands including delay in receiving wages and non-payment of bonus.

However, when the mill authorities allegedly didn’t pay heed to their demands, the aggrieved workers took out a rally in the area and staged demonstration outside the plant forcing the district administration to clamp prohibitory orders on December 27.

Despite the restrictions, when the workers started to put up tents and were adamant on staging demonstration outside the mill, a high-level meeting was convened on Saturday, said sources.

The meeting was reportedly attended by the representatives of contractual workers and CITU, officials of district administration and company authorities.

It was only when the district administration and company authorities agreed to their various demands, the contractual workers withdrew their stir and pulled down the tents. Later, the district administration also relaxed Section 144 clamped in the area.

Rayagada Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Raj Kishore Dash said: “Even if the district administration tried to negotiate with the workers, they did not agree following which Section 144 was imposed in the site as per the directions of the Sub Collector. However, the prohibitory orders were promulgated yesterday after the agitators pulled down the tents.”

A CITU leader, Bishnu Mohanty said, “All the workers were given 8.33 per cent bonus while regular employees were granted 20 per cent bonus. But around 1,450 contractual workers, who should get 20 per cent bonus like regular employees, were not given the bonus leading to the resentment among the workers.”