Van accident injuring 41 tannery workers raises host of issues

Enquiries revealed that “owners claimed that they could not be held accountable for the accident as they were out of company premises and were in a vehicle which was not hired by the company.”
Van accident injuring 41 tannery workers raises host of issues
Representative image

AMBUR: The impounding of 15 vans used to transport workers to leather units in and around Ambur and Vaniyambadi by the Vaniyambadi RTO officials, following the capsize of an overloaded van carrying 41 workers, most of them women, near Vaniyambadi has raised a host of issues, officials said.

Officials have sent notices to the owners of the impounded vehicles seeking an explanation for various lapses found in the vehicles, sources said and added “we plan to fine owners sizeable amounts to prevent the recurrence of a similar mishap.”

However, what peeved the injured who were admitted to the Vaniyambadi GH and were visited by the Ambur and Vaniyambadi

MLAs AL Vilvanathan and G Senthil Kumar and Collector Amar Kuswaha was that nobody from their work spot visited them or even enquired about their health.

Enquiries revealed that “owners claimed that they could not be held accountable for the accident as they were out of company premises and were in a vehicle which was not hired by the company.”

This has raised the hackles of trade union leaders who decried the inhuman attitude of leather unit owners.

“Though Supreme Court orders state that CCTV cameras should be installed inside company vehicles, many refrain from doing so as they are always overloaded,” Ambur-based Tamil Nadu Trade Union Centre general secretary J Ruban told DT Next.

As companies do not provide transport, workers shell out cash to hire vehicles and the latter overload them, sources said.

Asked about this Ruban said, “company owners cannot wash off their hands saying the vehicles are not theirs as those injured were their employees and hence it can only be considered an industrial accident and not a road accident which makes them eligible to claim compensation under the relevant act.”

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