Puducherry: Various trade unions of public sector owned AFT mill on Saturday urged the government to restart all three units and withdraw the lay off, continuing for another six months since July 22.
An emergency meeting of the all trade unions action committee of AFT, held under the presidentship of AITUC General secretary V S Abishegam took strong exception to the management's 'failure' to take steps to restart the units.
In a release here, he said the previous Congress regime had issued an order in April 2010 'crippling' working of the mill by suspending production. AITUC then moved Madras High court seeking scrapping of the order to suspend production.The court had also restrained government from closing the mill and directed that AFT resume work in `as is where is condition`.
The ruling AINRC had also promised the workers in the run up to the 2011 Assembly polls that they would take steps to restart all the units. But they had not done so.
The court order was also not honoured and this government too had failed to take steps to restart the mill. The workers were however being paid wages without any work in the mill.
The mill chairman (a non official incumbent) had also said that AFT would resume work and pointed out that a six month lay off was necessary to refurbish it. Workers also extended cooperation to implement the lay off in 2013.
The management however kept extending the lay off period subsequently, which is violation of the promise given to workers and also a failure to implement the court order. Lay off had been extended periodically since 2013 and now it had been extended for another six months since July 22, he said.
Abisehgam alleged that only 'C' unit (spinning wing) was being run, giving an impression that AFT is functional
During lay off workers were getting half the wages, causing serious crisis in their families, he said.
Leaders of Anna Trade Union, Paattali workers union, INTUC, Bharath Mazdoor Sangh and a host of other unions also participated in the action committee meeting.