Workers of Cachar Paper Mill in Hailakandi staged protest after the death of an employee while on duty on Thursday.
The workers of both Cachar and Nagaon Paper Mill, which are owned by the Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited, haven’t received their salary since a long time and the workers blamed the company for the death of Nur Uddin, who died of cardiac arrest on Thursday.
Manabendra Chakraborty, President of the Cachar Paper Project Workers’ Union (CPPWU) told Northeast Now, “Both the company and the administration are responsible for the death of Nur Uddin. The workers of the Cachar Paper Mill haven’t received their salary since the last eighteen months. They are now almost on the verge of starvation.”
“We protested at the administrative building of our Mill. Later, a representative from the district administration of Hailakandi came and promised to ensure compensation for the family of Nur Uddin and also to take up the matter of salary with the higher authority,” added Chakraborty.
Chakraborty said that though production has been shut down for the time being in the Mill, workers still go to work because the company hasn’t issued any closure notice. “The workers are being financially exploited and mentally harassed by both the company and the government. Around 1500 workers are in direct pay roll in both these mills combined and if we count the indirect workers or the contract labourers, the number will be beyond 9000,” claimed Chakraborty.
He said that even though the Central government has promised to clear three months’ salary to the workers in March, the workers are still apprehensive about their future.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Changlang, Executive Magistrate and Circle Officer, Hailakandi, who visited the spot told Northeast Now, “The worker died after coming to work and after examining him, the doctors told that he died of cardiac arrest. The company will provide compensation to his family as per company norms.”
Regarding the salary, she said that they have nothing to do in the matter as it is now under the jurisdiction of the Central government.
Hailakandi MLA Anwar Hussain Laskar also visited the deceased’s family and gave Rs 10,000. “I couldn’t meet the DC because he went to Mizoram border after some violence was reported from there. Tomorrow, I will inform him about the situation and maybe announce some aid for the family on behalf of the district administration.”
Nur Uddin is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.