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Pricol Workers Struggle

Posted by Radical Notes September 30, 2009 at 1:04 am in India, Labour, Press Release, Working Class All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) AICCTU holds the incident leading to the death of Mr. George, Vice-president of Pricol Ltd., Coimbatore to be highly unfortunate. Pricol workers have a history of years of consistently peaceful struggles, and such violent incidents can have no place in the trade union movement. AICCTU demands a high-level enquiry into this incident. However, we condemn the malicious attempt to target AICCTU and its central leadership in patently false cases in this incident. We demand withdrawal of FIR against S Kumarasami, national President, AICCTU. Pricol managements consistent violation of the laws of the land: * For the last two years, Pricol management has blatantly violated labour laws: a fact recognized by the Labour Minister of TN inside the TN Assembly on 30 June 2009. * In a Calling Attention Motion on 30 June, raised by MLAs of AIADMK, Congress, PMK, CPI, CPI(M), the Labour Minister of TN replied, accepting that Pricol management had indeed violated labour laws and assuring of action against them. Only after this assurance, a hunger fast by Pricol workers including many women workers, ended on the 16th day. The Government Order 393 dated 29.06.2009 had raised the following instances of violations of labour laws with the Labour Court Coimbatore under Section 10 (1) of the ID Act 1947: * Violation of the law against engaging apprentices and contract labour in direct production * Unilaterally declaring holidays and thereby depriving incentive from the wages of the workers * Denying DA and Wage increase as per 12 (3) Settlements dated 29.09.2004 and 03.03.2004 Locking out the workers, transferring them, depriving them of their earned wages and other statutory benefits all had become the hallmark of the vindictive actions of this management. The Pricol management has repeatedly threatened and victimized workers that they must either leave the Union or forego their earned wages and benefits and face transfers. The Pricol Management has been openly refusing to recognize or negotiate with the Union. While incident like Pricol is highly unfortunate, it must be acknowledged that such incidents are occurring in the context of flagrant violation of labour laws and constitutional rights. As described above, at Pricol, * Workers are victimized for exercising their right to unionise; * Management refuses to negotiate with unions; * Even when workers win legal victories (getting orders passed by Government and Courts)

after arduous peaceful struggles including hunger strikes even by women workers, the management continues to flout the orders, and even indulges in violence against workers. In other words a situation is created whereby workers legal unions are ignored, workers are forced to wage long and hard peaceful struggles and legal battles even to get the Government to uphold the most basic labour laws; and yet, the entire institution of Labour Departments and Labour Laws is held hostage by the corporate managements. It is this situation that is directly responsible for the incidents at Graziano and Pricol. While we strongly disapprove of the unfortunate incident of the death of Vice president of Pricol Ltd., Mr. George, we demand institution of a high level inquiry in this incident along with withdrawal of false and fabricated cases against S. Kumarasami, National President of AICCTU and stopping of arrests and witch-hunt of workers in this case. We also demand that the management particularly the MD of Pricol Ltd. should be brought to book for open violation of labour Laws, govt. orders and court orders regarding the workers of this factory. (Santosh Rai) National Secretary, AICCTU

Workers strike at Maruti's Manesar plant

Press Trust of India, Updated: June 04, 2011 21:37 IST New Delhi: The country's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), said on Saturday that work at its Manesar plant was affected this afternoon when a section of workers went on a strike.

"A section of workers stopped work for a few hours on Saturday afternoon at Maruti Suzukis Manesar plant," the company said in a statement, without specifying the reasons for the strike. Management representatives were talking to the workers to understand the situation and find an appropriate solution, it said. MSI, which has a plant each at Manesar and Gurgaon, did not say how much production was affected as a result of the strike. Further, it said its operations at its Gurgaon facilities were

normal. Sources among workers said the striking employees were demanding the recognition of a new union formed by those working at the Manesar plant in Haryana. "There is an old union under the Maruti Suzuki Kamgar Union, which is mainly dominated by those working at Maruti's Gurgaon plant. We had formed a new body named Maruti Suzuki Employees Union, mainly by workers at the Manesar plant, and have been asking for recognition from the management," said a source.

The management was not recognising the new body, the source claimed. Besides, the workers were demanding that no action must be taken against the 11 office bearers of the new union. They were also asking for retention of old contract workers for the upcoming two new units at the Manesar plant, the source said, adding that there were around 2,000 employees at the Manesar plant. MSI is setting up two new units with an annual installed capacity of 2.5 lakh units each inside its Manesar facility at a total investment of Rs 3,625 crore. While the existing plant in Manesar can produce 3.5 lakh units annually, its three units in Gurgaon have a combined annual capacity of 8.5 lakh units. The last time the company witnessed a major strike was when workers stopped production for three months from November 2000-January 2001.

Maruti workers' strike at Manesar plant called off after 13 days

NDTV Correspondent, Updated: June 17, 2011 01:00 IST Manesar: The nearly two-week-long workers' strike at Maruti's Manesar plant was called off late on Thursday night. The strike was called off after the Labour Minister said that no one can stop workers from

registering their union with the management. All the 11 sacked employees, who were fired for allegedly inciting others to go on strike, will also be reinstated but they will have to go through a chargesheet enquiry. Around 2,000 workers at the Maruti Suzuki India's (MSI) plant had been on strike since June 4 demanding recognition of a new union - Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU) - formed by those working at the Manesar plant, among other things.

The Manesar plant rolls out about 1,200 units every day in two shifts. The factory produces hatchbacks Swift and A-Star and sedans DZiRE and SX4.

Maruti strike threatens to engulf Manesar auto hub BS Reporters / New Delhi June 10, 2011, 0:20 IST
The strike by workers of Maruti Suzukis plant in Manesar is threatening to spread across the auto belt of Haryana. The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and unions backed by it have warned of a days strike in over 50 auto companies in the area. The 2,500 workers who have struck work since Saturday are demanding recognition to a new union that will be independent of the Gurgaon plant union. They are also complaining about low basic salary, fewer breaks from work and a huge cut in salaries if they come late for work or take leave. BSE | NSE Price

The companys production loss due to the strike has been 5,000 cars worth Rs 200 crore. In a sign that the agitation is gaining strength, 2,000 members of AITUC-backed unions, representing workers of Hero Honda, RICO Auto, Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India and the Sona group, today sat on a dharna in front of the Maruti plant . AITUC is coordinating with other unions affiliated to rival parties, including Centre of Indian Trade Unions (Citu), Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Indian National Trade Union Congress and United Trade Union Congress. These unions have formed a joint action committee.

V L Sachdeva, secretary, AITUC, said, As we are a major union in this area, its our prime responsibility to support any cause that involves the rights of our affiliated workers. We are observing a days satyagraha at the entrance of Marutis Manesar plant. If the management doesnt accept our demands today, the workers of other neighbouring plants will go on a days strike. Sachdeva says if around 500,000 workers strike work for a day, the companies will lose thousands of crores of rupees. If we boycott work, their supply to vendors will be halted. In no way can they suppress our movement. The CPI (M)-led Citu confirmed it had joined the joint action committee. It said the management was browbeating the workers and had full control over the existing union. Dipankar Mukherjee, general secretary, Citu, said, The main objective of this committee is to protect the right of workers to form a union. The management cannot force its choice on workers. The existing union works at the behest of the management. Citu has asked the labour ministry to intervene in the matter. The management, however, has a different story. We have been ready to talk to them. But the problem is that the union is not registered. Where is the question of recognising it? said Chairman R C Bhargava. The workers have also demanded that the 700-odd contract labourers, accounting for about 30 per cent workforce, be given preference for permanent posts in new plants that the company is building. On this, Bhargava said, We are trying to reduce contract workers as much as possible and absorb them as trainees. On salaries, the management says the average take-home salary of a contract worker with onetwo years experience is the same (Rs 12,600) as a trainee worker who passes out from a technical institute. It says contract workers get nearly three times more than the prevailing wages in the area. After three years in the company, trainee workers, depending on performance, can get an average salary of Rs 25,000, excluding medical facilities, food subsidy and uniform. The average salary of a permanent employee with a similar experience in this auto belt is not more than Rs 16,000-17,000. We pay more than the market rates, said an executive. Auto sector strikes backed by AITUC have been common in Haryanas Gurgaon-ManesarBawal belt. They reflect the unions bid to increase clout in the area, which accounts for 60 per cent of the countrys auto production. What has made it easier for the unions is the fact that 80 per cent out of 1 million workers in this auto hub have been hired on contract. The workers have conveyed their key demands to the management -- recognition of the union, reinstatement of the 11 sacked workers and an assurance that there will be action against the striking workers. We will not compromise on these points and will continue to strike work until these demands are met, said Shiv Kumar, the general secretary of the proposed union.