For the second time this month, the management of the Gondalpara jute mill have put up a notice of ‘suspension of work’.
The Gondalpara jute mill workers and their families feel that they have become a victim of “dirty votebank politics”. Nearly 5000 jute mill workers who have been rendered jobless have lost faith in the initiatives taken by the state government’s labour department to keep the jute mill running, and hence are turning towards the newly election BJP Lok Sabha MP from Hooghly Locket Chatterjee.
The jobless mill workers want that the BJP Hooghly MP should take up the issue of repeated closures of the Gondalpara jute mill and act promptly so that the mill should re-open again and the production should continue uninterrupted.
The “suspension of work’’ notice put up by the Gondolpara jute mill management cited reasons of lack of raw jute to initiate production, the non-co-operation and hostility from the side of raw jute suppliers and very low workers participation as some of the major reasons for the closure of the jute mill.
The jute mill had been closed for eight months but after initiative taken by the state labour department it opened on 20 April just before the Lok Sabha elections but soon after the completion of the elections in Hooghly on the 6th of this month, the mill once again closed on 8 May.
The jute mill workers and their families who felt that the ruling party have played a trick on them, turned violent and attacked two party offices of the Trinamool Congress.
The agitated and violent mob even attacked the police force and pelted stones at them, but on the same day, upon the stern directives issued by the state chief minister Mamata Banerjee to the Gondalpara jute mill management, the notice of suspension of work was withdrawn and the ongoing maintenance work was resumed from 9 May.
However the mill management again put up suspension of work notice on Tuesday morning citing reasons of lack of raw jute, zero production and low participation of workers.
Nalan Choudhury, Nirmal Choudhury, Debol Saha and other affected jute mill workers said the state government had failed to keep the jute mills running.
The jute mill owner has dishonoured and defied the state chief minister’s strict directive to keep the mill running and not to shut it abruptly without bringing it to the knowledge of the state labour department, they said.
They demanded the intervention of Locket Chatterjee the newly elected Hooghly MP to take necessary steps to promptly re-open the jute mill.
Suman Ghosh, the BJP district president, said: “It is a matter of great concern that the Chandannagar Gondalpara jute mill has again closed. It will be the first priority of the Hooghly MP Locket Chatterjee to take up the issue and take steps towards re-opening the jute mill. At present all the senior BJP leaders from Bengal are in Delhi. With the return of the senior BJP leaders and Hooghly MP Locket Chatterjee the Gondalpara jute mill issue will be given first priority. Every steps will be taken so that the jute mill can resume its production soon.”
Anway Chatterjee, core committee member of state INTTUC and organising secretary of the district Trinamool Congress, said: “The repeated closure of Chandannagar Gondalpara jute is a pre-planned dirty conspiracy between the jute mill owner and the senior BJP leaders at Delhi. It is aimed at misguiding the innocent jute mill workers and their families. It is a conspiracy of the BJP to send out a wrong massage among the jute mill workers against the ruling party leadership and instigate and provoke the innocent jute mill workers and their family against the ruling party.’’
“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken several initiatives to keep jute mills running but the anti-workers policies of the jute mill management and vote bank politics of the BJP have rendered the jute mill workers jobless,” Mr Chatterjee said.