A tripartite meeting to avert an impending strike by jute sector trade unions in West Bengal failed to reach any consensus on Monday. The West Bengal government had called for the meeting to resolve the impasse between jute mill owners and the trade unions, which have threatened to go on an indefinite strike from March 1 over unfulfilled demands.
The meeting was presided over by the state's Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak, officials of Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) and trade union representatives. A bilateral meeting with the IJMA will be held on February 21, and another tripartite meeting on either February 22 or February 25, officials said.
All trade unions in the sector, barring Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress, have agreed to join the strike from March 1 to press for their demands, including wage revision and implementation of Minimum Wages Act. The jute industry employs over two lakh workers in more than 60 mills in the state.
The West Bengal government had on January 17 decided to give an interim relief of Rs 70, raising the workers' wage to Rs 327 per day till a new wage agreement was finalised. IJMA sources on Monday said mills will not be able to pay anything more than the revised wage of Rs 327 per day..
(With inputs from agencies.)