The National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRANMPE) has petitioned the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, over alleged unfair labour practices of the management of Obajana Cement Company Plc, especially anti-union policy.
In a petition by the National Secretary of the union, Comrade Matthew Momoh, the union implored the Labour minister to prevail on the management to recognise the union in the organisation to allow industrial peace to reign.
The statement read in part: “We are constrained to draw your urgent attention to the pathetic unionisaiion situation in Obajana Cement Company Limited, Kogi State.
“For the record, the union started the unionisation process since 2008, for which the management has continued to refuse dialogue. It has been a story of either the Group Human Resources Manager or the General Manger, Human Capital Management and other relevant managers are not always available for discussion. After all genuine efforts to dialogue with the management failed, branch union election was conducted on September 17, 2009.
“The management were duly notified about the election. No sooner the management got the introductory letter than they engaged in mass termination of workers including all the elected branch union officers.
“Consequently, the workers viewed their management action as gross act of intimidation and anti-union behaviour, therefore started a spontaneous counter reaction by withdrawing their services from October 1, 2009.”
Bharathi Cement ties up funds for second phase
Bharathi Cement Corporation Ltd has completed the financial closure for the phase II expansion of its plant at Nallalingayapalli village in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh.
“The financial closure for the second phase expansion of plant has already been completed and the work has commenced,” Mr G. Balaji, Director (Finance), Bharathi Cement, told Business Line.
The first phase of BCCL, promoted by the ‘Sakshi’ Group of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, MP and son of the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, has commenced commercial production last month with 2.5Mt capacity.
“Despite the market being down, we are able to reach near-full capacity in production. The second phase will bring in another 2.5Mt capacity by December 2010,” Mr Balaji said.
The total investment (for both the phases) envisaged is Rs 1,424 crore, he said. The Sakshi Group has a majority stake of 69 per cent in the company. The rest belongs to India Cements, Dalmia Cements and Mr N Prasad of Matrix Laboratories Ltd.
The company aims to be a national player in the cement industry after the completion of the second phase and total capacity may even be increased beyond 7Mt.
“The aim is to position Bharathi as a premium brand. We will also access markets in Goa and Maharashtra besides northern Telangana after completion of phase II,” he said.
BCCL was also planning to set up a split grinding unit to cater to the export market (especially Sri Lanka) and east India, Mr Balaji said.
The company was well positioned in terms of raw material and technology, he said adding that the limestone deposits would be sufficient for continuing production for next 60 years at 5Mta.