Dunlop’s Sahaganj unit to start production in two months

March 9th, 2009 - 6:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 9 (IANS) Tyre maker Dunlop India, which reopened its Sahaganj plant in West Bengal March 6 after remaining shut for more than three months, Monday said it will retain all its workers and start production within two months.
“We expect the production to be on in the next couple of months’ time. This plant is going to start and will take all the workers. There will not be any retrenchment or any reduction in labour,” Pawan Kumar Ruia, chairman of Ruia Group that owns the company, told reporters.

Mass theft has happened in the plant during the months it remained closed and many important equipment were stolen, he said.

The plant will start with production of 30-40 tonnes a day. “We will try and stabilise the plant at that amount for some time and then gradually increase it,” Ruia added.

The company suspended production at the unit Nov 17, citing lack of demand due to the global economic downturn and declared suspension of work Nov 30, leaving the future of over 1,200 workers in uncertainty

The plant has reopened with 229 workers of the maintenance and engineering division. Ruia promised that the remaining 1,170 people would be taken in phased manner in the due course of time.

“People from both the factions, CITU (Centre of Indian Trade Unions) and INTUC (Indian National Trade Union Congress) have joined work,” Ruia said.

Ruia added that he would pay Rs.1,000 to every worker barring the charge-sheeted people as an ad-hoc payment to meet their urgent needs.

The company management is still negotiating wages of the workers for October and November with the unions.

Two-three banks are ready to provide the company with working capital of Rs.500 million (Rs.50 crore), Ruia said without specifying names. “They were waiting for us to start production.”

Dunlop expects to ink agreements with the banks in this regard this month.

Earlier, the company had sought a loan of Rs.1 billion (Rs.100 crore) from West Bengal Industrial Development Corp (WBIDC).

Ruling out the speculations that Dunlop would convert the Sahaganj unit into real estate business, he said: “The company has no intention of making any colony.”

“If the land is at all required for the revival of the company, this will certainly be done,” Ruia asserted.

The total area under Dunlop in Sahaganj is 212 acres, out of which the plant occupies 58 acres.

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