Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 18 (IANS) The third round of conciliatory talks to end the over month-long strike called by a small section of employees of Muthoot Finance, a leading non-banking financial company, failed to break the deadlock on Wednesday as the rival parties stood their ground.
The strike is supported by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-backed Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU).
Wednesday’s talks, like on the past two occasions, were led by State Labour Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan and Labour department officials with the CITU leaders and the management of Muthoot Finance.
Later speaking to the media, CITU state secretary A. Anandan said the management was unwilling to compromise and hence they have no option but to go ahead with the strike.
At the meeting, the trade union leaders wanted a hike in the salary of employees, which was promptly shot down by the management as the matter is before the court.
Muthoot Finance has 3,600 branches in the country, of which 600 branches are in Kerala. It employs over 30,000 people across the country.
There have been no business transactions in Muthoot’s 300 branches in Kerala since August 20 on account of the strike.
The management by now has closed down around 50 branches after the protest began and following the failed talks they are mulling closing down another 40 branches.
The strike, however, has not affected the company’s operations outside Kerala.
The Muthoot management states that the unrest has been going on for the past three years owing to which the company has lost 66 per cent of its business in Kerala, that contributed 11 per cent of their all-India business when the strikes began in 2016, which is now down to four per cent.
However, Muthoot Finance as a company has grown by 50 per cent during this period (between 2016 to 2019) from Rs 25,000 crore to Rs 35,000 crore.