Mohali project fenced off after fired staff demand dues

October 17th, 2008 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Mohali (Punjab), Oct 17 (IANS) QuarkCity, a 51-acre commercial and residential park here, resembled a fortress Friday with fencing all along the site and heavy deployment of police and private security personnel after a few hundred sacked employees gathered at the site.The employees allege they are being harassed by the management of QuarkCity that includes residential, commercial, retail and hotel projects as well as a special economic zone dedicated to information technology.

They also allege their salaries and other settlements that they are entitled to have not been cleared.

“The authorities told us that they will pay us two months salary as per the contract if they sacked us without any notice. However, now they are not even giving us the 10 days’ salary of this month. The company’s doors are shut to us and heavy security has been deployed and we do not who to approach,” Dinesh, one of the sacked employees, told IANS.

“If the management does not meet our demand, we will certainly knock on the labour court’s door,” he added.

Added Sunil Kumar from Bihar: “When we joined this project in 2004, we were assured of a job for the next 20 years. We were also told we would be entitled to all benefits enjoyed by any other permanent employees. We have worked here in the most inhuman conditions, many times for 36 hours at a stretch.”

QuarkCity says it has sacked 250 employees in the last two days citing the reason of global economic meltdown. The sacked employees were engaged in various technical jobs at the project site.

The retrenched employees contest the official figure trotted out.

“The company’s statements are quite baseless as they have fired around 600 employees in the last two-three days. We have all the proof. Now they are forcing us to sign the resignation letter,” stated Trilochan, another retrenched employee.

The resignation letter, a copy of which is with IANS, reads: “I am unable to perform my duties anymore with your organisation, and I am resigning on my own.”

QuarkCity says it is looking to cut back losses following the worldwide financial meltdown. “We have fired these employees because of the global financial crises that have hit our business badly. But we will compensate every employee for this sudden firing,” QuuarkCity’s head of corporate affairs Gurmohan Singh told IANS.

The situation was still not clear and further downsizing was on the cards, added Singh.

Over 1,000 workers, most from other states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, are engaged at the QuarkCity project on salaries ranging between Rs.4,000 to Rs.7,000.

Launched in 2004, the under-construction project is likely to create 25,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs.

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