Noida garment export unit sacks 250 permanent employees

November 13th, 2008 - 12:42 am ICT by IANS  

Noida, Nov 12 (IANS) Around 250 permanent employees of a garment export unit have been laid off in what is perceived to be a consequence of the prevailing economic sluggishness, the workers say.Though the sacked employees claimed it was part of the company’s cost cutting measures, the management termed the exercise a consequence of the employees’ “indiscipline” in carrying out their work.

When the workers of AMS Fashions Pvt. Ltd. reached the unit’s office at about 9.30 a.m. Wednesday for their normal day’s work, they were surprised to receive the suspension notices.

The trouble began about 15 days ago, the workers said.

“We were initially given double overtime and food worth Rs. 20 per meal. But, since last week, our overtime was almost halved and the food served was also reduced to Rs. 15 a meal. We resented this move and the dispute deepened Tuesday,” said R.P. Singh Chauhan, an AMS worker and member of the Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS).

“Our talks with the management were scheduled to be held on Wednesday. But we were shocked to see an altogether different picture,” he said.

“The company had kept a plain paper at the factory’s reception outside the gate and asked us to sign it unconditionally. We were told that we would be allowed to enter and work only if we signed the blank paper. The company further told us that we were laid off by the firm and there was no need to report for duty. This hurt us all and we protested against the company’s decision,” Chauhan told IANS.

The company’s senior management, when contacted, had an entirely different story to tell. The firm clarified that the move was not taken in view of the financial crisis.

“Some of the workers were misbehaving with the top management of the company for the last few days, which was totally against the discipline of our working. The actual scene was not what the workers presented,” a senior member of the firm’s HR division said, not wishing to be named.

“The workers were being given double overtime till now and their food costs were not decreased but raised from Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 a meal. The workers were demanding one hour lunch time in between the overtime and they wanted this as well to be paid,” the official added.

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