Desperate Videocon Employees Threaten Suicide Over Pending Salaries Of 12 Months
Old timers in the electronics industry will remember the heydays of Videocon, one of the biggest companies in the domain. Dealers were sent to overseas trips every quarter, and some of them were gifted Mercedes and Benz for top performance.
Once upon a time, the company churned out revenues of Rs 10,000 crore, and made profits of more than Rs 1000 crore, without any trouble.
But now, the company is on the verge of bankruptcy, and employees are restless, desperate, and threatening to kill themselves, over pending salaries of more than 12 months.
Videocon share prices, which enjoyed value of Rs 800-900 once upon a time, is now trading at Rs 1.6, as the company’s valuation has dropped to mere Rs 52 crore, which is the price of sea-facing bunglows in Mumbai.
What has gone wrong?
Videocon Employees: We Will Kill Ourselves
In some of the plants of Videocon, where they manufacture electronics products commissioned by LG and Philips, Hyundai etc, employees have not received their salaries since last 12 months.
One such employee union, with 340 members, have been doing a sit-down since last 72 days, and still, there has been no resolution.
Helpless employees are now threatening to kill themselves, if the situation doesn’t improve.
Union president Gajanan Khandare said, “It is more than a year that we have not been paid and when we asked for it, the management hired new hands. This is despite the labour court, the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court directing them to pay our salaries. Now we are left with no other option but to kill ourselves,”
In their largest plant in Ahmednagar, around 6000 employees are working, but these are contractual workers, as full time employees have been fired.
Videocon Has Already Filed For Bankruptcy
In January this year, Videocon was admitted by National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for initiating insolvency proceedings, which is bankruptcy.
Videocon Industries owe Rs 20,000 crore to a consortium of banks, led by SBI, which filed for insolvency proceedings.
Videocon Oil Ventures, which is another company under Videocon Group, has a debt of Rs 12,000 crore, against whom insolvency proceedings have been stopped as of now,
On the other hand, a separate investigation by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has been initiated against Videocon Group, on possible links between Deepak Kochchar and the company.
Deepak Kochchar is the owner of NuPower Renewables, and husband of Chanda Kochhar , former ICICI Bank MD.
Videocon Group has 17 manufacturing plants in India, China, Poland and Italy, and their Wiki page claims them to be World’s 3rd largest manufacturer of picture tube.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.