Regency Ceramics declares lockout at Yanam unit

February 1st, 2012 - 2:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Feb 1 (IANS) Floor tiles major Regency Ceramics Ltd Wednesday declared a lockout at its unit in Yanam, Puducherry, which was burnt down during last week’s labour unrest.

A three-page lockout notice was pasted on the gate of the factory in Yanam, an enclave of Puducherry in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district.

The management of the company declared the lockout a day after its chairman and managing director G.N. Naidu said they were still undecided on reviving the unit.

The lockout has put a question mark on the future of hundreds of employees and 5,000 students in the schools and colleges run by the Hyderabad-based company.

Regency is the largest employer in Yanam with 2,600 employees, including 1,200 in the 27-year-old factory. The remaining employees work in institutions run by the firm.

A top company official told IANS here that the company declared the lockout on the advice of its labour consultants. “When the factory is not working, there are several ramifications of not declaring a lockout,” said N. Satyendra Prasad, executive director, Regency Ceramics.

The company hopes the move would help it save the minimum electricity, gas charges and other expenses it otherwise has to bear.

He said the lockout would continue till investigations were on into the large scale violence and a detailed assessment of the damages was done.

The company was insured for Rs.450 crore but the insurance companies are yet to start their work due to the tense situation prevailing there.

“Police have advised us not to visit the factory. The assessment is a long process and we have no idea how long the lockout will continue,” he said.

According to initial estimates, the company suffered a loss of Rs.150 crore in the large scale violence Jan 27. A mob killed company president (operations) K.C. Chandrasekhar, set afire the factory, warehouses, about 50 vehicles and other property following the death of a trade union leader after he was arrested by police.

The management has alleged a conspiracy behind the violence and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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