GUWAHATI, Aug 21 - Contractual employees of the Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok today resorted to a sit-in demonstration near Dighalipukhuri protesting the decision of the State government to convert the iconic hotel into a State Guest House, a move that will see over 100 employees lose their jobs.
The demonstration passed off peacefully, but the protesters rued that despite being intimated, no one from the Assam Tourism Development Corporation, which took over the hotel on July 1 last, came to hear their grievances.
A couple of Congress leaders visited the protesters during the programme.
The 56 permanent staff have been offered a package of 33 months’ salary. Nothing has been given to the 48 contractual appointees of the hotel which was under ITDC till June year.
“It is very unfortunate. Just because two high-profile politicians have occupied the two State Guest Houses, over 100 people are losing their jobs. The government is talking of the unemployment problem and here they are cutting jobs,” a protester rued.
Meanwhile, the contractual staff are preparing to take legal recourse. They are likely to file a petition under the Industrial Disputes Act at the Gauhati High Court.
On the other hand, the Labour Commissioner today sent a letter to the agitating staff, inviting them for a discussion tomorrow. The contractual staff had given a representation to the Labour Commissioner stating their plight.
Meanwhile, ATDC sources said it was working out with some other hotels in the city to rehabilitate the contractual staff.
The contractual employees were directly employed by the hotel until 2011. Later, a company was created under the name RM Enterprise, and the contractual staff were asked to join it. The company used to pay the salaries of the staff till another company by the name of Brahmaputra Enterprise was floated.
The iconic hotel was set up in 1987.