TANAHUN, June 26: Gorakhkali Rubber Factory has remained shut for the past 12 days following dispute on new recruitment.
Save Gorkhakali Rubber Factory Struggle Committee has padlocked the main gate of the factory since June 14, charging the management and employees´ unions of working against the spirit of previous agreement on recruitment reached with the locals.
Jit Bahadur Bhatta, president of the committee, said they were forced to padlock the gate after the management hired three new workers without prioritizing the locals. “Earlier, we had organized sit-in protest in front of the factory gate to pile pressure on the management. We were compelled to padlock the main entrance after the management showed unwillingness to hold talks with us,” added Bhatta.
Dinesh Kumar Bartaula, managing director of Gorakhkali Rubber Factory, said the factory had lost more than Rs 6.5 million over the past 12 days.
The factory used to manufacture 200 big and 100 small tires every day.
“We are ready to hold talks with the locals to settle the issue,” said Bartaula.
Bhatta said increasing politicization was putting the factory toward the brink of collapse. “The factory has become recruitment centre for the management, labor unions and different political parties,” he said, adding that political leaders were even misusing vehicles of the factory.
Thanks to dispute surrounding the appointment of chairman, the factory has not been able to hold its board meeting. An employee of the factory said dispute arose after the industry ministry appointed Laxman Bhattarai, joint secretary at the finance ministry, as the chairman of the factory´s board of directors, even though the board of directors had elected Madhu Kumar Marasini, joint secretary at the finance ministry, to the post.
Bartaula said the problems gripping the factory were of political nature. “The factory is facing frequent shutdown because almost all the workers are political cadres,” he added.
The factory has the capacity of producing 25,000 big and 15,000 small tires annually. Monthly operational cost of the factory, which has 370 employees, stands at Rs 20 million.