Reported by Malay Ray
Rourkela, Feb 20:
Odisha government on Thursday declared the lockout of Adhunik Metaliks Ltd (AML) as Illegal and directed company to reopen the factory with immediate effect.
Large number of employees celebrated by bursting crackers in front of the office of the District Labour Commissioner (DLC) office after it received government directive.
The management of AML had declared lockout of their factory without prior notice on February 13.
On Wednesday, hundreds of employees of AML had staged a demonstration in front of DLC Rourkela office opposing the lockout and demanding immediate reopening of the factory and clear of their pending dues.
AML, one of the most well known iron and steel companies in the state with a five thousand strong workforce, has been in severe financial crisis since past one year following the closure of several mines in the state. The company has also not been able to release the staff salary on regular basis since last one year and there has been a salary backlog of about four to five months of its employees.
The company closed down its factory on February 13 after putting a notice on the factory gate, terming the closure as temporary.
After the closure of factory, strong resentment had sparked among employees and several employees along with representatives of CITU union had met the DLC and had sought reopening of the factory and release of their old dues.
An enquiry had been conducted by labour office. The findings of the inquiry into the lockout of the factory by the management had been termed as ‘illegal’ by DLC and accordingly a report had been sent to Labour department of state government.
The DLC office of Rourkela received an order from the office of Labour Secretary this afternoon declaring the lockout as illegal and directing the management of AML to reopen its factory.
“We have received an order from the Labour Secretary through FAX this afternoon declaring the lockout as illegal and directing the management of AML to reopen its factory,” said Ranjan Behera, DLC Rourkela.