WORKERS of Aska Cooperative Sugar Industries Limited, a sugar factory and bottling plant at Aska in Odisha, have been sitting in a dharna at the main gate of the factory for nearly a month now to seek redress against the illegal retrenchment of some contract workers. The continuous dharna, supported by TUCI, had its effect on the management and labour department, and on the 12th day of the dharna the assistant labour officer reached the dharna site to initiate discussion with the workers. Subsequently, the Assistant Labour Commissioner, Berhampur, Ganjam District, called a tripartite meeting on June 5. The managing director of the factory and the contractor under whom the retrenched workers were employed were called to the meeting. On behalf of the retrenched workers, 10 workers/representatives were invited to the meeting. However, the workers decided that the convening of the meeting was actually a ploy to end their organized protest and decided to continue the dharna till the 5th of June. True to their suspicions, neither the managing director nor the contractor turned up for the tripartite meeting on the said date and the meeting was deferred till the 18th of this month. Hence the workers have no option but to continue the dharna in front of the factory gate and intensify their agitation in the hope that a militant struggle will bring the authorities to their knees.