Sunday, Sep 25, 2022
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Muthoot Finance In Jumbo Mess As Warring Workers Seek Their Dues

Muthoot faces protest for anti-labour practices as workers allege that company spends big in IPL and on Bollywood stars but treats staff shabbily

Red Flag Muthoot Finance In Jumbo Mess As Warring Workers Seek Their Dues

Like the two tuskers sizing each other up in its logo, the management of gold-financing giant Muthoot Finance and its emplo­yees union have been in a stand-off for over a month in Kerala. Since August 20, the Muthoot Fina­nce Employees Union (MFEU) has been on a state-wide strike against “anti-­labour practices” such as ­unfair salary structure, lack of ­increments, excessive pay-docking, cuts in incentives, punitive transfers and arbitrary suspensions. More than 300 branches remain shutt­ered—over half the presence of non-banking fin­ancial companies in Kerala. Muthoot’s management and a section of the employees claim, however, that “vested interests” are preventing a majority of its roughly 3,000-strong workforce in the state from working. The company has hit back by closing down some 45 branches citing “non- performance”. It has even thr­ea­tened to wind up ­all operations in its home state.

Head-load workers stand in solidarity with white-collar workers, raising the battle cries of working-class struggle, and the police have been roped in since the Kerala High Court’s order to remove impediments to work. Pro­testers say the reluctance of the country’s largest gold-funding corporate (in terms of loan portfolio) to provide a fair wage is pathetic.

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