Unions’ plea to make HIL part of FACT

Trade unions at the Hindustan Insecticides Limited (HIL) unit at Udyogamandal have suggested that the government could consider making the unit a part of the public sector Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT) to prevent HIL’s winding up operations in Kerala.

The suggestion has come even as NITI Aayog is reported to have recommended the closure of HIL.

Trade union sources said that the Central planning establishment suggested in early September that HIL operations be wound up as it was not viable to disinvest a part of the 100 per cent government holdings and list the company.

A meeting of trade unions cutting across party affiliations here on October 6 will chalk out a plan of action and discuss the future. A total of 107 employees on the rolls of the company and about 60 contract workers are a worried lot as the future looks bleak for them.

The HIL unit near Kalamassery is one of the oldest public sector undertakings in the state. Established in 1957, HIL was on the forefront of efforts to contain diseases like malaria and kala azar. Later, the company turned to producing agro pesticides. DDT, BHC and later Endosulfan were produced at the unit here. Of late it has been producing Mancozeb, glyphocete and pendimethalin.

K. N. Rupesh, general secretary of HIL Employees’ Organisation, BMS, said that all trade unions would participate in the meeting being held on October 6 at the SCS Menon Hall, Eloor. He said that the unions wanted the State government also to step in to prevent the closure of the unit.

He said that the employees were ready to accept the suggestions by the Union government to make the unit viable. The salaries of the employees and officers have been delayed of late and there has been no revision of wages over the last five years, he added.

The employees’ unions planned to approach the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and to make suggestions on turning the unit into a viable one, he said.

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