Sat, 08 Dec 2012 16:22:52 GMT

7 migrant workers attacked at Carborundum Universal Ltd



Kochi, Dec 7 (PTI) Seven temporary migrant workers of Carborundum Universal''s unit at nearby Kalamassery were attacked, of whom four have been hospitalised, company sources said.
Following the December 5 attack, the other 43 migrant workers, all of whom are from West Bengal, Rajasthan and Orissa, have stopped going to work, they said, adding, production had been hit.
Company Managing Director K Srinivasan said they believed it was an attempt by a small group of people to unlawfully grab jobs in the firm''s new plant coming up in its own Special Economic Zone at Kalamassery.
"The company has been functioning here for the last 48 years in the region complying with all legal requirements. We believe it is an attempt by a small group of people to unlawfully grab jobs in our new plant coming up at the SEZ at Kalamassery."
Stating it was a never before experience for Carborundum, which has four factories in Kerala and 25 across India, he said the attacks do not augur well for the state.
Srinivasan said some locals have been levelling false charges of pollution to get local support."When the miscreants could not fool regulatory bodies and statutory authorities, they are now turning to assaulting migrant workers and threatening people associated with the company," he stated.
Srinivasan said police had not taken any action, though a complaint was filed with them.
Company sources said there have been continuous attacks on migrant workers, the latest one being on Dec 5.Some were first attacked on Oct 8 and also intimidated, they said.
Srinivasan said the ''unjustifiable'' law and order situation has further troubled the company, at a time when scarcity of raw materials and power tariff are at a high. The company was finding it extremely difficult to continue its operations under these circumstances, he said.
The total capacity of the two plants here was initially 22,000 tons per annum, but has been reduced to 12,000 tons.The company manufactures Alumina grains for abrasive applications.
Carborudum has earmarked 25 acres at its SEZ for a new plant to manufacture light alumina product. The JV plant with Israeli company Cellaris, has not yet been commissioned.
Company sources said locals demanding jobs at the new plant are not educationally qualified.
Trade unions today organised a protest meeting against the attack.

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