Mysuru: Employees of the iconic German Press at Siddarthanagar in city are up in arms against the Union Government for its move to close the press to promote textbook printing presses in North India.
The employees, under the banner of German Press Employees Association, have been protesting the government move and have alleged step-motherly treatment towards the printing presses in South India. The protests continued today too and as per the Association, they will protest indefinitely till their demands are met. The employees said that the Department of Printing and Stationary under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has been operating 17 printing units across India including the German Press in Mysuru. The Union Cabinet has decided to close down 12 presses in the name of rationalisation and merger and it has been proposed that all the three units in the south at Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Koratty (Kerala) and Mysuru, shall be closed and the employees will be relocated to Nasik Press in Maharashtra.
“This decision deprives South India of the presence of an important arm of the government such as printing and stationery, which is unjust. This decision has shocked the employees and has drastically affected their family members,” the employees said.
All the three units in South India are well established and have good infrastructural capabilities. The Mysuru unit has modernised machinery gifted by the Federal Republic of West Germany 1976 which are still running in good condition giving 200% production, they said.
The German Press land is under the lease agreement period of 100 years with Karnataka government and still 60 years are yet to be completed. “This press is an asset running without any loss and has a high potential. Unfortunately, the government is bent on destroying the press and handing over the land for other development works,” the employees stated.
President of the German Press Employees Association H. Shankaraiah, Working President S. Nagaraja, Gen. Secretary Prem Anand, Vice-President R. Rajanna and others were present.