ibnlive » India

Sep 24, 2008 at 05:42pm IST

Oscar apologises for CEO lynching remark

New Delhi: Two days after Italian firm Graziano’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was bludgeoned to death by ex-factory workers, Union Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes apologised for his statements in defence of the workers.

Fernandes had said that the incident should “serve as a warning for the managements. It is my appeal to the managements that the workers should be dealt with compassion."

At a press conference on Tuesday, Fernandes added, “There is a report that the workers were sacked. Every worker tries to get a job and to retain it. Hire and fire policy is not a peaceful way of worker's functioning in an organisation," he had added.

The Minister’s statements had sparked off a huge debate in corporate and media circles.

Following the uproar, Fernandes clarified that his remarks were “misinterpreted.”

"I had expressed my condolences to the family (CEO’s). I had just put my point of view before the media. I apologise if my statement has hurt anyone's feelings,” Fernandes said.

His apology apparently came under pressure from the Congress high command, including External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister A K Antony.

Meanwhile, Graziano sources have spoke to CNN-IBN, confirnming that work will most probably resume at the Greater Noida plant by Monday.

"There isn't any question of the Greater Noida plant being shut. The plant will most probably reopen by Monday. Right now the damaged plant is being repaired and time is given to workers to collect themsevels and report for work," the company sources said.

Earlier, the firm had indicated that it may stop its operations in Noida as they said, security is inadequate at the Uttar Pradesh town and that the atmosphere is not conducive for smooth operations of the plant.

The statement from the company's legal consultant came even as Fernandes apologised for his comments on the issue.

On Monday, Graziano's CEO LK Chowdhury was beaten to death by over 250 former employees, who were protesting their termination.

Eyewitnesses said things got out of hand when a security guard at the factory opened fire on the protesting employees.