The CPI(M) today wrote to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, urging him to take steps for negotiations between workers of Chenani-Nashri road tunnel project on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and the contractor.
CPI(M) MP Tapan Sen, who is also the general secretary of Central Indian Trade Unions (CITU), stressed for an amicable settlement of the confrontation between the management of Leighton Company and the people working on the project.
Besides Omar, Sen also wrote to the chairman of the National Highways Authority of India. "I urge upon your urgent intervention in the matter of gross violation of labour laws and vindictive physical attack on workers deployed in the NHAI project between Chanani and Nashri by the contractor, Leighton," he wrote.
Around 2,000 workers are being denied basic statutory facilities in the matter of minimum wage, social security, safety etc, he said, adding "workers are also being subjected to unlawful victimisation including rampant summary dismissal, whenever anyone protests or raised their grievances".
The J&K Construction of Four Lane Road and Tunnel Workers Union, affiliated to CITU, is the only union functioning in the project representing the entire workforce has long been pursuing the management not to take such vindictive actions and concede to just demands of the workers but management refused to see reasons and mend their ways, he added.
The union submitted a charter of demand along with an advanced notice for agitation in the event of failure as per provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act to the management and informed the Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) at Jammu and the Divisional Commissioner of Jammu.
In view of there being no response from the management for a negotiated settlement even after lapse of 25 days, the workers were constrained to go in for strike on October 27 and staged sit-in dharna both at Chanani and Nashri, he said.
The Regional Labour Commissioner fixed November 2 as the date for negotiations, but the day before police attacked the workers on the dharna, injuring many, and arrested 30 workers.