Kolkata: West Bengal Labour Minister Purnendu Bose Saturday put the onus on the management of a jute mill for the lynching of the mill`s CEO by agitating workers.
Bose Saturday visited the North Brook Jute Mill in Bhadreswar in Hooghly district and criticised the management for keeping the government in the dark about the crisis it was facing.
The mill`s chief executive officer HK Maheshwari was beaten to death June 14.
"In case the produce of a mill remains unsold the owner can seek layoff. 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," Bose said.
Attributing financial irregularities and dues in workers` wages and gratuity for the growing resentment among the workers, Bose expressed concern over the rise of "militant trade unionism".
The opposition, however, has accused the state government of shirking its responsibility and demanded immediate intervention by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the matter.
"By blaming the management and the workers, he is trying to shirk the responsibility of the state government which is responsible for the faltering condition of the jute industry in the state. Instead of blaming the opposition, the CM should immediately intervene," said Shyamal Chakraborty, leader of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).
Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya too sought the chief minister`s intervention and urged Banerjee to convene a tripartite meeting to solve the problem, which is compounded by the fact that several other jute mills have announced suspension of work.
"The greater is the delay in convening a tripartite meeting, the greater will be the harm to the jute industry which is the lifeline of the state`s economy. It will be another setback to the industry and economy of Bengal," he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party state president Rahul Sinha too blamed the state government for its inaction in reviving the jute industry which has been suffering for long despite its huge potential.