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Aruna Rai
News & pics by:  Hareesh Kumar Hejmady

Suzlon unit in Padubidri stops production and declares lockout
Padubidri, Nov.14th, 2017:  Suzlon Energy Ltd.'s Padubidri plant has stopped production and has declared lockout with effect from Nov. 29th citing labour problems.  The unit has been manufacturing wind energy turbines and blades for the last 9 years at Mangalore SEZ area in Padubidri.  The workers who came for the night shift on Monday evening were sent back informing that only two "day shifts" will be operational.  But those who came for the day shift on Tuesday morning were shocked to see the lockout notice.
Out of 4 units only wind blade manufacturing plant was operational. Turbine, cover and assembly units were open but without any manufacturing activities.  Due to drop in sales, the company had removed around 700 contract workers during the last two terms.  Around 130 workers were removed just last week.  On protest by the regular and contract workers last week and after the intevention of top district police officials, 9 of the workers were given re-empolyment.

The sudden lockout will the workers badly. Many were happy to bag a job opportunity in a multinational company and had also taken bank loans for the construction of new houses, for getting married and other purposes.

The employees started a protest outside the gate from Tuesday morning.  Many political and workers unions have expressed their support.  Udupi District Labour officer Vishwanath and his team arrived in the morning itself and held talks with the employees.  Speaking with the mediapersons, he said that he had no intimation of closure and it was a normal practive to give 14 days notice for such lockouts.  District Commissioner Mary Francis summoned company officials and held a meeting with labour leaders and people's representatves.  She gave a stern warning to the company officials and urged them to resume the perations. 

Fomer MLA Lalaji R. Mendon, various political party leaders Naveenchandra J. Shetty, Mithun R. Hegde, Prakash Shetty Padebettu, Ganesh Kotian, Dinesh Kotian, Rajesh Kotian, Ashok Salian, Ramakantth Devadiga, District SP Dr. Sanjeev Patil, ASP Hrishikesh Sonawale, labour department's M.P. Vishwanath, Ramamurthi and others were present.