450 union bearers and workers at Exedy India Clutch in Bengaluru, have been locked out following a breakdown in discussions on welfare measures. In response, the workers went on hunger strike on 19 February.
On 9 January 2018 Exedy management put up a lockout notice for almost all 450 unionised permanent workers, after negotiations between workers and management on the implementation of certain welfare measures in the previous wage settlement collapsed.
While almost all unionized workers are locked out, about 700 contract and trainee workers are carrying out the production.
Management is alleging that workers slowed down the production, while workers maintain that there are inherent problems in the machine. In January, management deducted wages for about 150 workers, citing low production.
The Exedy Clutch India Employees Union has approached the labour department to resolve the issue through tripartite discussions. During the tripartite discussions, Exedy management went on to suspend workers, including union office bearers, in total 18 workers were suspended pending enquiry. In addition, the management demanded individual good conduct undertaking from workers.
In the tripartite discussions, union protested against a proposed individual performance responsibility, instead opting for a a collective undertaking by the union. The union also agreed to an internal enquiry and demanded withdrawal of all suspensions. However, management refused to withdraw suspensions and the tripartite negotiations failed. The labour department referred the issue to the court.
Demanding a withdrawal of the suspensions and lockout, 450 workers launched a hunger strike on 19 February.
Georg Leutert, IndustriALL automotive director, says:
It is unfair to resort to vindictive actions against union office bearers while engaged in tripartite negotiations. Towards maintaining industrial peace and protecting the interest of 450 workers, the Exedy India management should immediately withdraw lockout, suspensions workers and resolve all issue through negotiations.
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