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Videocon shuts Kolkata plant for a year

Will meet demands of new market driven by LCD, LED

Digbijay Mishra  |  Kolkata 

Venugopal Dhoot-led has shut one of its plants in the city at Salt Lake today for upgradation.

The company said the unit, which mainly manufactures television and refrigerators, urgently needs upgradation, to meet the demands of the new market, driven by LCD & LED.

Gautam Sengupta, chief advisor of the company said that though the plant would be closed for a year, 205 workers of the plant would be entitled to a year’s salary and other facilities that are given to them in a normal situation.

“When we acquired the plant from Philips it was already 13 years in 1999 and then we used it for another 12 years. But the market has changed now and the demand is high for LCD TVs and LED TVs so this plant has to be upgraded. But the fate of the workers will remain safe as they will continue to get their salary,”said Sengupta.

He claimed that once the upgraded technology was in place the company would train the workers to get accustomed to the new technology.

“Majority of the workers and trade unions have agreed to our proposal. However, we are yet to some on board, but we will have have a talk and are confident to get them on board,” added Sengupta.

The company management today met the state industries minister Partha Chatterjee to convey his commitment towards the state.

“The meeting with the ministers was positive and we have further plans to invest Rs 100 crore in this plant to manufacture mobile phones,” added the chief advisor of the consumer durable major.

He pointed out that the one of the first options that the firm had thought was to use these workers in the other two plants in the city (Taratola & Siliguri) but most of the workers are women and are over the age of 45 so moving out to a new plant was not a viable option. 

The company now has devised a plan under which a certain number of workers will be allowed to come and visit the factory in a group while it is going through the makeover so that they (workers) don't feel alienated from the plant.

First Published: Thu, January 31 2013. 20:18 IST