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The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the state government and the police to give protection to employees of Muthoot Finance, a leading non-banking financial company, who report for work.

The interim relief came from the High Court after the management of Muthoot Finance approached it as since August 20, a small section of its staff was on strike with support from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-backed Centre for Indian Trade Union (CITU).

The protesters are creating problems when the non-striking employees try to enter the office.

They are demanding to be allowed to take part in trade union activities and have been demanding equality in the salary structure.

A video showing a woman employee of the Kottayam branch being forcibly prevented from opening the office entrance has gone viral.

In the video, a man, claiming to be a CITU worker, is seen threatening the woman that he would kill her and her husband.

Muthoot Finance has 3,600 branches in the country, of which 600 branches are in Kerala. It employs over 30,000 people across the country.

There have been no business transactions in the 300 Kerala branches since August 20 due to the strike. On Tuesday, even when not a single employee at their head office, near here, was on strike, CITU workers did not allow anyone to enter the office.

Following the media attention, the Kerala government has intervened and has called for conciliation talks to be held here on next Monday, with State Labour Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan mediating the talks.

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