Alembic factory close down operations until further ‘advice’

Alembic factory close down operations until further ‘advice’
Thu, Mar 7, 2019

PRAKASH ADHIKARI
GANGTOK:
After days of protest by ousted casual workers and political mudslinging over the impasse, Alembic pharmaceutical has indefinitely ceased operations of its manufacturing unit at Samardung in south district. The indefinite closure of the pharma unit was communicated to the public through a notice pasted in the main gate of the unit Wednesday morning.
Alembic management is said to have written about the indefinite closure to the State government.
Citing the incidents leading to the closure, the company alleged that some workers were engaged in a brawl with the management within the factory premises some days ago which triggered the workers’ unrest as the workers involved were expelled. The CCTV footage of the incident is said to have been shared on social media.
Talks were taking place on the issue between the company, Labour department and State government. But the opposition party SKM supporters came with their party flags and gheraoed the plant at Samardung which hampered the factory operations, the company wrote to the State government.
Later talks were held with the SKM party representatives and when the company management shared with them that it cannot fulfil their demands, the SKM further created pressure on the company, the company has alleged in its letter. We could not find working environment due to political pressure and other reasons, hence we are closing the factory till further advice, the company has told the State government.
Asked on the closure, State Industries minister Ugen T. Gyatso Bhutia refused to comment on the issue. “No comments. If such instances continue then all companies will leave Sikkim,” said minister Bhutia.
According to official estimates, pharma companies, hydro power projects and other industries contribute to around 36 percent of the State revenue. A total of 38 pharmaceutical production units including some global brands are currently operational in the State.
Alembic is a Vadodara, Gujarat headquartered pharma company, which had engaged around 400 workers in its Samardung unit, it was informed.


Area: 7096 Sq Km
Capital:Gangtok
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Climate:
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi