Kolkata, May 15 : Staff hired as workers at Kolkata’s INOX Swabhumi have been protesting on social media, alleging that they have not been paid salaries and their contracts have been terminated.
The workers also took to staging peaceful protest outside the theatre with placards that read: “We are INOX employees. We have no salary. What will we eat?”
They also alleged that they cannot share their complaints on the official page of INOX Leisure Ltd as their profiles have been blocked. Videos of the theatre’s staff, standing with placards in hands, are doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter, where they talk about their helpless condition and urge for help.
However, when IANS contacted INOX, the multiplex chain informed the protesting workers were not employees of INOX. Rather, the multiplex chain had roped them through the manpower resourcing firm, INNOV Source.
“None of the personnel posting on social media are employees of INOX Leisure Ltd, but employees of the manpower resourcing firm INNOV Source, which is owned by multi billion dollar venture capital fund Samara Capital. INOX’s contractual agreement with the company was valid only till 31st March 2020, and the same was duly communicated and acknowledged by INNOV Source. INNOV Source has been misrepresenting the facts with its own employees, and not making salary payments to them inspite of being a Rs 1300-crore company with over 70,000 employees nationwide. INOX has expressed its strong objection to the same and has demanded INNOV Source to convey the truth to its own employees and pay their salaries,” said an INOX official statement.
The workers, however, do not seem to be aware of the entire situation, going by some of their social media comments.
Srikanta Ghatak, whose Facebook profile describes him as an Operation Associate at INOX Swabhumi Kolkata, shared in a post written in Bangla, “I humbly request you all to help us. A private company like INOX is not treating us as human beings. They have made their staff work so hard but are now denying salaries. They have a turnover of crores but they don’t feel it necessary to pay their staff the minimal salary during this lockdown. Please stand by us and spread the word.”
Ghatak shared a photo of an aged employee standing with a placard in his hand which reads, “No salary, no food, 89 INOX Swabhumi staff”.
He captioned: “Nemai uncle has been serving INOX Swabhumi for the last 12 years. His salary was only Rs 10,000, which the company didn’t pay. How much will you save by denying this meager? You are forcing them to commit suicide. INOX, please hear us out and stop terminating our contracts. A lot of us do not have smartphones and hence cannot access or raise their voice on social media. Is this what they get in return for their loyalty?”
A video shared on a Facebook page, titled ‘Protests against companies for termination n no salary’, shows four men in uniforms standing in a row. They express in Hindi: “Namaskar. We are employees of INOX Swabhumi. We are operation associates. We are protesting against the company. We have not being given our salary amid this coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. The company is also rusticating us. Please share this video and help our words reach the honourable Prime Minister and Chief Minister.”
Babai Mondal, whose Facebook profile reads “Engineering Supervisor at INOX Leisure Ltd”, shared a photo on the abovementioned page. In the photo, Mondal stands with a placard, with this slogan in Bangla: “I am a worker at INOX. I have no salary. What will I eat?”
Another employee, Dinesh Singh shared a photo on Facebook where he can be seen standing with his two kids, placard in hand. He wrote: “Served INOX for the last 10 years as an operation associate (O.A.) but in this time of corona (COVID-19), the company has left us. Even our third party contract has been discontinued by Inox. Now what will we do? We have no getting salary this month.”