The Labour Department will initiate legal action against English Indian Clays Ltd (EICL), Additional Labour Commissioner K. M. Sunil has said.
EICL, which has been shut since August 10, is in the news after a 50-year-old contract employee was found dead on the company premises on Saturday.
The Department has initiated action against the company for denying lay-off compensation to the employees and ordering illegal transfers, the Additional Labour Commissioner said. The EICL management has also been slapped with a notice in this regard under Section 29 of the Industrial Disputes Act, he said.
After the company halted operations in August last year, Labour Minister T. P. Ramakrishnan had held discussions with the EICL management.
Follow-up discussions were conducted five times by the office of the Labour Commissioner. Subsequently, the management had agreed to restart operations at the Thonnackal unit on a small scale.
However, the Kochiveli unit has not been reopened. The Labour Department had also taken steps to ensure that the employees were issued their bonus, ex gratia and salary arrears in two installments, according to the Additional Labour Commissioner.
At a meeting on November 4 last year, the management informed that the operations had to be halted due to the shortage of raw material, Kaolin.
It was decided at the meeting that the employees would be paid lay-off compensation. The management was also asked to implement the agreement on pay revision.
However, a subsequent meeting held on December 23 could not arrive at a consensus on the agreement, transfers and compensation, according to the Department.
Employees had staged protests at EICL for several hours on Saturday after Prafullakumar, a contract employee, was found hanging on the premises.