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Work suspended in yet another Bengal jute mill


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Kolkata, June 21 (IANS) Even as the political blame game continued over the killing of a jute mill executive in West Bengal, yet another unit has declared suspension of work taking the number of such units to six.


According to police, Victoria Jute Mill in Hooghly district Friday announced suspension of work due to labour unrest.

Since the June 15 killing of North Brook Jute Mill CEO H.K. Maheswari allegedly by agitating workers in Hooghly district, as many as six such mills have declared suspension of work as stakeholders continued to express concern over the fate of the jute industry.

State Labour Minister Purnendu Bose, who during his visit to the North Brook Mill put the onus of Maheswari’s death on the mill management, also blamed the rise of militancy in trade unionism.

"In case the produce of a mill remains unsold, the owner can seek layoffs. There are relevant laws to deal with such a situation. The management is aware about the government’s stand in this regard and should have discussed the matter with us. We could have helped and the situation could have been avoided," he said.

While the state government has maintained that the Maheswari killing will not adversely affect the jute industry, Bose said a delegation of Trinamool Congress MPs will submit a memorandum to the central government seeking jute packaging be made mandatory.

Advocating eco-friendly jute packaging, the minister said if made mandatory it will help the revival of the industry.

Accusing the state government of shirking its responsibility, the opposition including the Bharatiya Janata Party has sought Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s intervention to save the jute industry.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leader Shyamal Chakraborty, Congress member Pradip Bhattacharya and BJP state president Rahul Sinha have urged Banerjee to take necessary steps including convening a tripartite meeting to end the workers unrest and revive the floundering jute industry in the state.

Expressing concern over the killing of Maheswari, Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) chairperson Raghvendra Gupta has said the incident will lead to an increase in industrial indiscipline and urged the Banerjee government to take corrective measures.

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