Friday, March 3, 2017

Good time for HMT workers as they get sanctioned years' salary

THE 146 odd HMT employees of its factory located at Ranibagh near Haldwani and other workers have reasons to cheer as they received pending salaries since January this year. After Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises released the funds for salary they received their dues. A letter was sent to the Prime Minister by them informing that they have not getting their salaries since January 2016.
Mukesh Tiwari, secretary of HMT Kamgar Sangh, a group of workers in HMT Ranibagh factory was quoted as telling a national daily, "We have written...
a letter on January 24, 2017 to honorable Prime Minister requesting him to address our grievances. We got reply from the ministry on February 17, 2017. We were informed on Feb 28 that soon, our salaries will be transferred in our accounts."
Tiwari, on behalf of HMT employees filed a writ petition in Uttarakhand High Court last year raising objections against the closure of the HMT watches Ltd Ranibagh and again raised the dispute with regard to the length of service and wage revision 1997.
The petition also said that he along with other workers were feeling aggrieved from the arbitrary and illegal. The petitioner also mentioned that non-adjudication of wage revision dispute and dispute regarding the length of service, "is desirous to challenge the same by invoking the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Hon'ble Court".
The court on Feb 17, 2017 ordered the management the payment of dues and admissible wages of the workers of Ranibagh factory.
After the Central government in January 2016 decided to close three non-viable units of HMT including HMT Watches, once regarded as the timekeeper of the nation, employees in the HMT factory located at Ranibagh in Kumaon decided not to give up.
Along with HMT Watches, HMT Chinar Watches and HMT Bearings were also shut down. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2016 by offering an "attractive" voluntary retirement scheme to the employees as per 2007 pay scales. Amount of Rs 427.48 crore had also been sanctioned for the employees.
At present out of total 512 employees only 146 are left now protesting since Feb 16, 2015 demanding the fulfillment of nine-point agenda by the government which includes converting the factory in an unit of ordinance factory. 366 workers took VRS accepting the centers offer.
More than 500 machines of latest technology the factory campus also has residential quarters which offered shelter to almost 300 HMT employees.

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