Lucknow: Dozens of employees working at Lal Imli Mill – an approximately 145-year-old woolen fabric factory – in Kanpur staged a protest to demand the release of wages they said had been on hold for three years.

Employees, who gathered in front of the residence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) deputy Surendra Maithani in Pandu Nagar under the banner of Lal Imli Karamchari Sangh, said they were on the verge of starvation because they did not have resources to feed their families.

They alleged that despite several representations made to the government, local MPs and the MP for Kanpur, their demands were not met. Employees staged dharnas and staged protests on several occasions, but no one cared, they said. Their families were facing starvation due to the long non-payment of their wages.

The union has expressed its anguish, saying that due to non-payment of wages, nearly 400 families are on the brink of starvation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They also claimed that at least eight Lal Imli Mill employees died for lack of treatment during the pandemic period.

Ajay Singh, Chairman of Lal Imli Karamchari Sangh, said: “The ruling Kanpur party representative had made great promises, but despite this we have remained without pay for the past 36 months and are on the verge of starvation. . Even our wives and children have been forced to work like daily bets, carry vegetables from door to door and some are forced to drive electric rickshaws, ”Singh said. Newsclick, adding that they are now fed up with “false assurances”.

Singh said about 400 workers at the factory have not received their wages in the past three years, and more than 50 workers have died in recent years in financial crises, but neither Yogi Adityanath’s government nor their local representative whom they elected. with an overwhelming majority, paid attention to their problems.

The agitated workers handed a memorandum to the BJP deputy and warned him that if their pending wages were not released in a few weeks, they would escalate their unrest and go on a hunger strike in Kanpur and the capital of India. ‘Lucknow State.

When asked the reason for the delay in pending wages, Singh said, “The Center has not made budget allocations for the wages of factory workers for many years now, as they do not. don’t care about our lives.

Kanpur BJP MP Satyadev Pachauri raised the issue at Lok Sabha in February this year and said the condition of Lal Imli employees had become “pathetic”.

The MP told the Lower House that Lal Imli was owned by British India Corporation Limited (BIC) and was a public sector enterprise (PSU) under the Ministry of Textiles; it was established in British times. The mill provided livelihoods for hundreds of workers, but has been closed since 2013. “After it closed, the working workers were plunged into abject poverty, with no money to buy food or medicine. he said, adding that since the factory has not been officially closed, the future of the workers continues to be at stake.

“The condition of Lal Imli workers can be assessed by the fact that the Supreme Court had to intervene to provide interim assistance to these workers. The Ministry of Textiles should take a swift and rational decision on the official closure of this non-functioning textile factory. and that their payment and other benefits be released immediately so that they can live life well, ”said the leader.

Mocking Pachauri and accusing the ruling government of repeatedly ignoring the plight of workers, Singh said: “He raised the issue six months ago and between elections, elections were held in many. States. The government and its representatives had the money to steal. at each location and hold back-to-back rallies, but they did not care about the workers. The government’s priority is clear and we should learn from it, ”he said. Newsclick.