Just days after the Sahara India Group expressed its inability to pay Rs 36,000 crore to its investors within 18 months, as ordered by the Supreme Court, there is more trouble coming Subrata Roy’s way. The staff of Sahara India Pariwar have finally decided to end their long silence and take on the management with protests due to non-payment of salaries since the past 9 months.
With Subrata Roy’s release from Tihar Jail uncertain, the employees face a grim future. The continuing delay in salary payment and lackadaisical approach of the management over the issue, as reported by the staff, has left employees in a dilemma whether to leave their jobs or stay on and continue to wait for their dues. This has created unrest and restlessness among the workers, putting a dent in the image of the organisation, which calls itself the world’s largest Pariwar (family).
According to sources, the staff had many a time confronted the management for update on their salaries but the management, after initially promising, had failed to deliver, leaving the workers in the lurch.
Bitter at the way the management is handling the current situation, workers recently held a protest and shouted anti- management slogans. Employees refused to work and efforts are being made to communicate with senior officials to find a solution to the impasse. The company is in dire straits ever since Sahara Chief Subrata Roy was sent to Tihar Jail, after failing to repay investors. According to sources who wished anonymity, all heads of the departments, for security reasons, have been asked to stay at home as the protesters are in an angry mood and it is expected to turn nasty.
According to one employee who refused to be named: “I am not going to office since last one month. What will I do? I am not getting salary. Travelling daily is an expensive proposition. Workers like us have given it all for the company but the management is least bothered about us. I heard that Saharasri (Subrata Roy) is getting five star treatment in jail and eating food from 5 star hotel. This is shameless indeed. He calls it a Pariwar, here suicides have taken place, good people have resigned from the organisation, but there is no sign of remorse or regret by the management. This is really shocking”.
As the Sahara story gets murkier, labour commissioner is expected to come to the Sahara office in the next couple of days. As a matter of fact, a Labour Union has been constituted in Sahara, for the very first time, due to the management’s apathy.
The newsroom of Samay, news channel of the group, wears a deserted look. The staff has decided to aggressively voice their concern by sitting on a dharna at the lawns inside the complex. Posters have been seen on the building of the group office with slogans, such as, NO WORK , NO PAY. Feeling the heat from the workers, the management in an apparent move to control the damage has agreed to pay 2-month salary.
The workers are still not satisfied and according a source, have demanded payment of due salary, in order to resume work. Employees have warned of major protest in the coming days if the management does not pay the due salaries. Moreover, it is not only in the Noida office alone that the staff have gone on protests. There are reports of similar protests in Dehradun, Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Patna.
Another employee of Sahara India Pariwar, on condition of anonymity stated that, “These protests were long due. Glad it has happened finally. Enough is Enough. We have suffered enough in the recent months. Today is the first day when we are not working. Hope the management meets our demands.”