Sesa Sterlite will move court on the issue of suspending the services of 1,017 employees at its iron ore unit in Goa as its earnings have been severely impacted by the ban on mining activity since September 2012.
It will however continue to pay 50 per cent salary to the staff who will be “laid off”, as the employees will remain on the pay rolls, according to an official at the company.
“We have issued notices to 1,017 of the total employees and will have to pursue the notice to its logical conclusion,” a senior Sesa Sterlite spokesperson said.
Sesa Sterlite, which was one of the largest exporters of iron ore till mining was banned one-and-a-half years back, said that “it will continue having the staff on rolls but with 50 per cent salary”.
The company’s lay off order was stalled by State and Union labour departments.
Sesa Sterlite has now decided to approach higher judiciary seeking the lay off as “the company has been suffering losses due to prolonged mining closure”.
According to the spokesperson, “the company stopped earning a single paisa from the iron ore mining and export business originating from Goa due to the mining ban”.
He said the company had issued layoff notices under section 5 (B) of Industrial Dispute Act in the first week of January, 2014.
However, the move was opposed by labour unions, including All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), which had threatened strong action against the company, if workers are harassed.
“As per the provisions of the Act, an employee can be laid off from the 61st day from the date of issue of notice or earlier, subject to the permission from the concerned state or central authorities,” the spokesperson said.
He claimed that at present all the employees are drawing full salary.
The Supreme Court had imposed the ban in Goa following a report of Justice M B Shah Commission on illegal mining in Goa. Mining industry in the state has virtually come to standstill following the ban.