SKM steps in Alembic workers’ row, demands company to resume operations

SKM steps in Alembic workers’ row, demands company to resume operations
Thu, Mar 7, 2019

Weeks of protest by ousted workers of Alembic pharma company took a political turn on Wednesday as the opposition Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) came forth in support of the agitating workers. The party maintained that it was compelled to step into the issue as the State government allegedly failed to end the impasse and give justice to the aggrieved workers.
“We did not want to politicise the matter as we expected that the problem between the company and worker would be resolved by the State government. But a month has elapsed the issue stands unresolved and we are here in support of the workers demanding justice at the earliest,” said SKM spokesperson Jacob Khaling, who visited the Alembic unit at Samardung and later joined the protesting workers at Shram Bhawan, the Labour department office at Tadong here.
According to Khaling, the party actively took up the workers’ issue only on March 3 and sought to come forth with a solution. A day later a SKM delegation visited the Alembic unit and held discussion with the company officials who sought some days’ time.
“It is just that six of the casual workers were terminated with prior notice. The company was to come forward with its stance today but announced indefinite closure of operations. Legally the company is not closed as it has been done without following due process like notifying the local authority and the workers,” said Khaling.
The SKM spokesperson further alleged that the company suspended its operations at the behest of the State government to break the unity of the workers. He appealed to the pharma major to immediately resume its operation and revoke expulsion of those six workers terminated without any reason. He also demanded that the Sikkim Subject holder employees rendered jobless after the plant closure be absorbed in the State government under ‘One Family, One Job’ scheme or any other State owned PSU.
Khaling appealed to the aggrieved workers not to panic as the party has taken the issue to the highest level seeking justice for the workers.
SKM Nari Shakti general secretary Pabitra Bhandari stated that the company management has done injustice to female workers and has now closed the unit instead of taking action.
“The real issue began due to suppressive attitude by the company towards women workers but the government chose to support the company instead. It has been proved that the Chief Minister’s tall claim of women equality and empowerment is hollow. The Chelli Morcha of the ruling SDF party is silent, not a single word has been uttered in support of the women in distress, it clearly shows that the Cheli Morcha is useless and not honest towards the women of Sikkim,” she said.
SKM Labour wing vice president Gyanden Lachungpa said the State government is not the owner but a servant of the companies. “As per the MoU, the companies operating in the State just cannot open or shut down their units without the sanction of the government. The company after availing all the benefits as subsidy and profit has shut down its unit.”

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Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
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