Kerala-based Muthoot Finance Company, facing a protest by a section of employees demanding revised salary structure and other benefits, on Tuesday threatened to close some of its branches in the state.

The management of the nationwide network of non-banking financial services company alleged that some vested interests had launched the strike and the frequent strikes affected the operations of some of its branches in Kerala.

The Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU)-supported striking employees hit out at the management, saying its alleged anti-labour stance was the reason for the agitation.

They had been on strike since August 20.

Meanwhile, dramatic scenes were witnessed at the headquarters of the company when the striking employees prevented the employees supporting the management and senior officials from entering the office.

Managing director of Muthoot Finance George Alexander Muthoot staged a ‘sit-in’, alleging that people from outside were creating trouble in his company ‘without any reason.’

Talking to reporters, he condemned the agitation and alleged that some vested interests were behind it.

We are not able to open our office, he said.

He said the company currently has a total of 600 branches in Kerala and if the situation continues, we will close down the strike-hit branches.

However, such closure would not affect the company which, according to him, has registered Rs 2,000 crore profit during the last fiscal.

He said the Kochi-headquartered companys business in Kerala had come down to 4 per cent from 10 per cent due to the protest and the company reported a record growth in business due to the performance of its branches spread across other states of the country.

The managing director demanded that the employees of the company be allowed to work.

According to him, all the employees of the head office were opposed to the CITU-led agitation.

The employees supporting the management also raised slogans, demanding that they be allowed to work.

The striking employees, however, prevented them saying they were fighting for justice for all.

Their demand include framing of a salary structure, transfer policy and bonus for the employees among others.

CITU said the nationwide strike was not launched by it.

The organisation said the strike was organised by the employees of the company under the banner of the Non-Banking and Private Finance Employees Association.

It is affiliated to the CITU.

The CITU leaders said a 14-day notice was given to the management but it had made no efforts to avert the strike.

The managing director rejected the CITU’s allegations and claimed that the company gives salary and other benefits to its employees on time.


By Loknath

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