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Jute mill workers clash with owners over unpaid dues
13
Mar '08
Jute Mills in West Bengal are suffering immensely from the sting of duty-free imports from Bangladesh.

Massive import of cheap jute raw material from the neighboring country has nearly paralyzed the domestic industry. Mills in West Bengal are therefore unable to meet the outstanding dues and demands of the workers.

This in turn would result in large scale labor unrest in the forthcoming months forcing most of the existing operational jute mills to settle for a closure.

Although a meeting was held between the mill owners and workers on March 11, it only ended up in discord and bedlam. Not only did the parties fail to reach any solution, they also could not help worsening the situation.

At the meeting, Bengal Chatkal Majdoor Union (BCMU) asked mill owners to pay dearness allowance (DA) pending since February, irrespective of the earlier dues, but even this proposal was not accepted by the union.

Jute mills can run a loss of as much as Rs1,000 crore if duty-free imports continue to enter the Indian market. The next meeting between the mill owners and workers is scheduled to be held in April.

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