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Working Against Odds: Condition of Workers in the Cement Industry in Chhattisgarh

15 Nov 2012

Chattisgarh today is the scene where resistance to a ‘development’ model which seeks to enrich the capitalists and corporations is being waged, against land grab, displacement from forests and privatisation of water resources. Under the garb of ‘Operation Greenhunt’ all popular resistance is sought to be suppressed. However, the particular area of Durg-Bhilai-Baloda Bazaar, that forms the geographical core of this report, the project of modernisation and industrialisation happened almost sixty years ago. Located close to the State capital, Raipur, the Durg- Bhilai belt has traditionally been the industrial hub of Chattisgarh and a contrast of sorts in terms of landscape to the pristine forest lands of Dantewada in the South. A three member fact finding team from PUDR visited cement plants acquired by the Swiss multinational, Holcim - ACC Jamul Cement Works, (Dist : Durg) and Ambuja Cements Private Ltd., (Dist : Baloda Bazaar) Chattisgarh, between 27 -30 June 2012, to get a first-hand account of the problems faced by workers employed in these factories. The team visited the labour camp in Jamul and Ravaan and the villages of Dhour (Dist: Durg), Bhadrapalli and Posari (Dist: Baloda Bazaar), located in close proximity to the plants and interacted with established trade unions such as the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), and the Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh (PCSS) working among industrial workers and peasants in Chattisgarh. PUDR also met up with the District Collector of Baloda Bazaar and the Assistant Labour Commissioner, Durg and a senior manager of the Human Resources department of ACC Cements at Jamul.

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