Skip to main content

Pay equal pay for equal work, demand Hitachi successor unit contract workers' union

By Harsh Thakor* 

After 30 hours duration of sustained struggle, an agreement has arrived between the management and the contract workers, sitting on strike in the plant premises of the company Proterial, Manesar, formerly Hitachi Metals. Under the agreement, the company has consented to not to fire the protesting workers. Credit for this goes to the relentless spirit of the workers.
After the B shift workers sat inside the company and the C and A shifts staged a dharna outside, other labour unions and labour organizations of Manesar also arrived at the company gate in support of the provincial workers, including the unions of the Maruti Manesar Car Plant, Maruti Powertrain and Belsonica.
The unions of Maruti Car Plant and Power Train made arrangements for one-time meals for the workers sitting on strike. Along with this, Ram Kumar, leader of the All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), dismissed workers of Maruti, Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra and Mazdoor Sahyog Kendra also came in support of the Proterial workers.
The unions appealed to the labour department to intervene and promised full cooperation in the future if needed.

Management's 'defiance'

However, the management declared that it would deduct attendance bonus of Rs 2,000, due to which the workers have objected.
The leader of the contract workers, Rajesh Kumawat, was fired on May 3 on the alleged charge of possessing tobacco. Six months back, 25 contract labourers were also fired.
All these issues, including the demand notice, are to be discussed on May 18 between the workers' representatives and the management.
The workers sitting on the dharna claimed that on May 11, the two leading workers of B shift were terminated by the management, in protest against which they were compelled to embark on the dharna.
The management alleged that the workers were conducting a slowdown for a long time and were giving only 80% production of total capacity. On 11th the talks were conducted on giving 100% production.
Even in the agreement, dated 12th May, the management asserted to achieve more than 100% production. The workers countered that the machines had a stipulated time and more than 100% production could not be given in the time. Only by working overtime could such a target be achieved.
The management appeared to have left no stone unturned in attempting to demoralise the workers by tightening very nose on their welfare.

State of contract workers

Contract workers' salary is approximately Rs 10, 000 per month. Apart from this, a bonus of Rs 2,000 is available every month on complete attendance. If a worker takes a day off, then this bonus is deducted.
If a worker works even for half a day, Rs 700 and attendance bonus are deducted from his salary. If a worker does duty without any breake, only then he gets a total salary of around Rs 12,500.
The company was forced to enter into agreement under under Section 12(3) of the Industrial Disputes Act.
The workers have demanded that all contract workers should be made permanent, unconditionally. Equal pay should be given for equal work and legal holidays should be granted.
Presently, the situation is that if a worker takes leave other than weekly leave or falls ill, his salary plus attendance bonus is deducted, making the worker incur debt for that month.
*Freelance journalist who covers mass movements in India. Inputs: Shyambir of Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra and Workers Unity



'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

US 'frustrated' with India’s discomfort: Maritime exercise in South China Sea

By Vijay Prashad*  In early April 2024, the navies of four countries -- Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States -- held a maritime exercise in the South China Sea. Australia’s Warramunga, Japan’s Akebono, the Philippines’ Antonio Luna, and the United States’ Mobile worked together in these waters to strengthen their joint abilities and -- as they said in a joint statement  -- to “uphold the right to freedom of navigation and overflight and respect for maritime rights under international law.” 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Dadi, poti discuss 'injustice' under 10 yr Modi rule: Video campaign goes viral

By Our Representative  Watan Ki Raah Mein, a civil society campaign of the Samvidhan Bachao Nagrik Abhiyan, has released a short video conversation on social media of an exchange of letters between a dadi and her poti discussing poverty, unemployment, corruption and women’s safety. The letters also raise the question of  suppression of our fundamental rights of speech, expression and justice. 

'Enough evidence': Covid vaccines impacted women's reproductive health

By Deepika*  In 2024, the news outlets have suddenly started reporting about covid vaccine side effects in a very extensive manner. Sadly, the damage is already done.

'Uncertainty in Iran': Raisi brokered crucial Chabahar Port deal with India

By Pranjal Pandey*  Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian President, and the country’s foreign minister were tragically found deceased on May 20, 2024, shortly after their helicopter crashed in foggy conditions. In response, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei swiftly appointed a relatively unknown vice president as the interim leader.

Informal, outdoor workers 'excluded': Govt of India's excessive heat policies

Counterview Desk  Top civil rights network, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), has demanded urgent government action to protect millions of outdoor workers from extreme heat and heatwaves, insisting declaration of heatwaves as climatic disaster.

Right to health and informed consent: Why 'revisit' Mission Indradhanush?

By Deepika*  Extending on to the subject of Misleading ads and acting responsibly , another aspect that needs highlighting is our right to health and to be made aware of quality of products, as pointed out by the Supreme Court.

Indian authorities 'evading' discussion on battery energy storage system

By Shankar Sharma*  In the larger context of the ever growing need and importance of renewable energy sources for a sustainable energy/ electricity sector in our country, the critical role of energy storage systems, especially the battery energy storage system (BESS), is being emphasised frequently at the global level, such as the one by  the International Energy Agency (IEA). Unfortunately, our authorities in India seem not to attach the same level of importance, which the BESS deserves.