Three-way impasse blocking Dunlop India plant re-opening
More than three weeks have passed since a lock-out began at Dunlop India’s Sahaganj factory, and the tyres appear to be spinning on negotiations for resuming production. The Press Trust of India reports that union representatives have voiced opposition to bipartite talks with Dunlop India, while the company is awaiting West Bengal state government approval of three-party talks and the government is waiting for Dunlop India to re-open the plant before attempting further negotiations.
“Dunlop is unable to implement the re-opening proposed by us on October 21,” said Pawan Ruia, chairman of Dunlop India parent company the Ruia Group, to PTI. “Workers’ unions are not willing to hold any meeting with us as they are insisting on a tripartite meeting. We have not received any government nod for it. As such the fate of reopening of the Sahagunj factory now rests with the government.”
A factor complicating the situation is that power to the Sahaganj factory has been cut. Dunlop India previously offered to lift the work suspension order at three plant divisions should power be restored, however West Bengal Labour Minister Minister Purnendu Bose told the company that power supply won’t resume until the company agrees to re-open the factory. “Various government authorities have Rs 30 crore (₤377,000) arrears pending from Dunlop for providing electricity and municipal services and the government would like to know what it is going to do about it,” he commented.
Should the Dunlop India management proposal be adopted, the company will first re-open its industrial products division, followed by its OTR tyre division and lastly its car tyre division – following the installation of a 50 MW captive power plant.