Official says staff were aiding evacuation of acid
After employees of Sterlite Copper started reporting for duty on Monday, the company in a brief statement said it had been holding only “regular engagement” with its employees.
Referring to the fact that the employees were called for duty from Monday, the company said the “engagement” is being held only “with the intention of sharing progress, including [that of] the evacuation [of sulphuric acid] work that has been happening at our factory, as per government order,” the statement said.
The employees were asked to report for duty at their residential quarters — Tamira I and II, where biometric punching machines were installed to record their attendance.
When asked about the number of employees who turned up, company officials refused to comment.
Following the seal and closure order by the State government on May 28 after the violent agitation, employees at the plant, who were continued to be paid by the company, were in a state of limbo. Some were deputed to other plants of Vedanta, the holding company of Sterlite Copper, while others were awaiting the outcome of the legal proceedings initiated by the company seeking reopening of the plant.
A senior official told The Hindu that over 200-250 contract labourers and more than 100 permanent employees were aiding evacuation process, which is being done under the oversight of a special team, led by Sub-Collector M.S. Prasanth, including officials from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Inspectorate of Factories, Fire and Rescue Services, and others, after an acid leak was detected at the plant.
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