Jajpur: As 21-day lockdown has been in force to prevent the spread of deadly novel coronavirus across the nation and in the state, thousands of contractual labourers working in Nilachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL) and Mesco Steel are left in the lurch in Kalinganagar area of Jajpur. Some of them have been laid off while scores of others have not received their salaries for months now, a report said.
According to the report, the coke oven and bio plant of the NINL have been shut down since Monday while 1,400 workers have not received their salaries for two months. They have been living in misery. Contractual workers were laid off April 1.
It may be mentioned here that despite Centre’s guidelines to protect the interests of the employees workers are facing joblessness and non-payment of salaries.
Employees of Mesco plant are in the same situation as they have not got their salaries for two months. Such situation has triggered resentment among the workers.
The two plants were accused of violating the government directives at this critical juncture.
Ramchandra Khuntia, president of Rashtriya Mazdoor Congress, expressed deep concern over the miserable condition of the workers. Khuntia has drawn attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik towards the workers’ woes.
Khuntia said, “Exploitation of labourers is going on this way in Kalinganagar.”
As on the issue, Kalinganagar ADM Santosh Kumar Mishra disapproved of the reported laying off of workers during the lockdown. “The district administration will hold discussion with the companies’ managements,” he assured.
Voicing concern over the situation, Ranjan Nayak, the convener of the Nilachal Milita Manch, said that the Collector, 5-T secretary VK Pandian, chief spokesperson of the coronavirus Subroto Bagchi and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will be intimated about non-payment of salaries to workers and denying them their right to work at this time. “Some workers feel exhausted by unsuccessfully taking up their issues with the company managements.”