Falcon crisis: High-level meeting in Bengaluru tomorrow

The high-level committee meeting headed by Minister for Higher Education and Tourism R V Deshpande will meet at room 313 in Vidhana Soudha

The state government has finally woken up to the plight of Falcon Tyres employees following two suicide attempts and a massive road block after that. A high-level committee meeting will be held at the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Saturday to come up with a workable solution preventing further crisis.

It may be mentioned here that two employees attempted to commit suicide on March 1 and the night of February 29. While one employee Sunil consumed poison on the factory campus, Dharaneshaiah poured kerosene on himself and attempted to light a match box.

Enraged by this, more than 500 Falcon Tyres employees protested and blocked the busy KRS Road on Tuesday. The protestors shouted slogans against the factory management for not beginning production as promised and demanded the immediate intervention of the state government.

The committee is headed by the Minister for Higher Education and Tourism R V Deshpande and has Revenue Minister V Srinivas Prasad, Minister for Cooperatives and Sugar H S Mahadeva Prasad, MLA Vasu, MLA Tanveer Sait, MLA Somashekar as members. They will sit across the negotiation table along with representatives of Falcon labour union.

According to sources, Minister Deshpande has assured the employees that a decision in favour of employees will be taken during the meeting. The meeting is scheduled at room no 313 of Vidhana Soudha at 3.30 pm.

Sources said that the meeting was scheduled to be held on March 10, but after some political developments, the date was advanced to March 5. The employee union leaders are already in Vidhana Soudha to convey their issues and recent developments with authorities.

Falcon Tyres is owned by Ruia Group’s Pawan Kumar Ruia who is based in Kolkata. Recently, Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee announced in the state assembly that the government would acquire the defunct Jessop and Dunlop Tyres owned by Ruia Group. The employees of Falcon Tyres are expecting the Karnataka government to follow West Bengal’s footsteps.

According to market experts, tyre manufacturing was a profitable business and Falcon Tyres has a premier position in the market in terms of its quality and durability. “If the government acquires the company it will protect the employees’ interest but also can generate huge revenue for the government exchequer,” experts feel.

However, industrialists said that there were less chances of government taking over Falcon Tyres as it has already handed over state owned Vikrant Tyres Company to private firms.

Meanwhile, sources said that following the suicide attempt, Falcon management has released the due amount to Sunil who has been admitted to a private hospital. The management also released the due amount to the family of Shivaprakash who died following cardiac arrest and Anand Raj who committed suicide sometime back.

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