Enactment of the Amendments to Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act and the struggle ahead – Ma Le Theepori

Thozhilalar Koodam Note: An important amendment to Industrial Employment Standing Order Act was passed on July 04, 2016 after the president gave assent to the bill. The amendment ensures that working conditions of precarious workers including trainees, and apprentices are stated by the industrial establishments in their Standing Orders. Further, the Standing Order will have to state the percentage of trainees and other non-permanent workers in relation to total workers in the factories. This article is a translation by Thozhilalar Koodam of an article that was written by Comrade Kumarasami of AICCTU in Ma-Le-Theepori. This article has been slightly changed from the original version for readability in english.

The Amendment to Industrial Standing Order Act(47/2008) was passed unanimously in May 14th 2008 by Tamil Nadu State Assembly. The then DMK Government could not get approval from Central Government during its rule until April 2011 ,and neither could the ADMK Government between 2011 and 2016 . However, eight years after the bill was passed in the State Assembly, the presidential assent to the bill was finally given on June 26th, 2016. The State Government has passed the law via Government Order (GO 163) on July 04, 2016 and published in the Gazette. Continue reading

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Maraimalai Nagar Workers Protest Against Management Victimization

An untitled notice dated July 31st and signed by Human Resource Department announces that the shift timings are changed for the workers in a factory starting August 1st, 2016. There is a shift from 6AM to 4:30 PM and another shift from 4:30 PM to 3AM which means that workers will spend time at work for over 10 and half hours. However, the work is only for 8 hours as the shift has over 2.30 hours break in between.  The workers are advised that they cannot stay at the factory during this break. This is a one of the many innovative tactics adopted by the companies in Maraimalai Nagar, against workers in their effort to organize.

Workers at the Hunger Fast

Workers at the Hunger Fast

Over 38 workers from Comstar, SPEL, Magick woods, JBM and Texcel participated in a 72 hour hunger fast between 25th and 28th of August 2016 in Maraimalai Nagar with over 300 workers showing solidarity with them. The workers affiliated to CITU, were protesting anti worker policies by managements and victimization of union activists, wage delays and dismissal of workers. The protest initially planned in June 2016 was delayed due to denial of permission by police and the union had to approach the Madras High Court to allow the workers to protest in a public space.

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Posted in Automobile Industry, Factory Workers, Labour Laws, labour reforms, News, Workers Struggles | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

State Transport Workers Gear Up for National Strike

11 Trade Unions organize a Joint Gate Meeting at Pallavan House, Chennai

  • Repeal Motor Vehicles (amendment) Bill 2016
  • Raise Transport Workers Wage on par with 7th Pay Commission
  • Immediately Pay all dues to Contract Workers

 On Wednesday, 24th August 2016, 11 transport workers unions representing workers from all the state owned transport corporations organized a joint explanatory meeting as a preparation for the 2nd September National Strike. Over 1000 workers from Chennai participated in the evening public meeting held outside ‘Pallavan House’, the Head Quarters of Metropolitan Transport Corporation.  It was a major show of strength leading upto the national strike, though Anna Trade Union, affiliated to the ruling AIADMK was conspicuous by its absence.

MTC Workers at Gate Meeting

MTC Workers at Gate Meeting

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Posted in labour reforms, News, Public Sector workers, Strikes, Workers Struggles, Working Class Vision | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Workers Think of the Upcoming General Strike: A Survey

September 2nd is becoming an important date in the calendar of the Indian working class. Once again this year, a National General Strike has been announced on the day. Central Trade Unions barring BMS (the largest trade union with fraternal affiliation with RSS) have jointly announced the strike as a strategy to reverse the anti labour policies of the present government while also pushing for a charter of 12 demands that cover permanent, contract workers as well as informal workers. How prepared are the Workers of Chennai?

With only a fortnight to go before the strike, we were surprised to find that the workers in Chennai remained unaware of the momentous struggle or its scale. Even after a preliminary round of meetings held by left unions in the City, the general awareness among the workers, including factory workers, was really low. Many did not know about the strike nor introduced to the demands. Some had previously participated in the 2015 strike and were better aware of the demands but did not know about the coming general strike. The demands resonated with every section of the working class, who saw the need to expand social security, increase wages and establish equality of pay for the workers doing similar work. While the opinion on the efficacy of a one day general strike varied, there was genuine interest among the workers to struggle for the charter. Here we present the interviews we conducted with a diverse group of Chennai’s industrial and service sector workers.

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Posted in Analysis & Opinions, Factory Workers, Informal sector, labour reforms, Lock out/Closure, Street Vendors, Strikes, Working Class Vision | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Out of Breath: Why Two Workers Died in an underground chamber in Anna University?

Twenty six years old Deepan, father of a fifteen days old baby girl and Ramesh Shankar, a young man of about twenty five years died inside an underground cement tank. The available evidence indicates that they inhaled deadly chemical fumes and  asphyxiated to death. In the last few minutes of their lives, the two men must have struggled to come out of the tank through the small opening overhead measuring about 0.45 m in diameter. But the air inside the tank would have become so lethal by a chemical concoction of Toluene and Silcone that it had depleted all oxygen in the air inside the tank, making it difficult for the men to breathe and they would have collapsed over each other. When they were discovered in this condition and their limp bodies pulled out of the tank, Ramesh still had a few breaths left, his young adult body was fighting to survive. But before any medical help could arrive, he was dead like his co-worker Deepan.

 

The Site of the Accident

The Site of the Accident

Team members Inspecting the Chamber

Team members Inspecting the Chamber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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சென்னை அண்ணா பல்கலைகழகத்தில் 2016 ஜுன் 21 அன்று இறந்த இரண்டு தொழிலாளர்களின் சம்பவம் குறித்த உண்மை அறியும் குழுவின் அறிக்கை சுருக்கம்

Anna University Image3ஜுன் 21, 2016 அன்று, அண்ணா பல்கலைக்கழக வளாகத்தில் நடந்த இரு இளம் தொழிலாளர்களின் மரணம் குறித்து, பல ஆங்கில மற்றும் தமிழ் ஊடகங்கள் செய்தி வெளியிட்டிருந்தன. ரப்பர் சாதனங்கள் என்ற ரப்பர் மோல்டிங் மற்றும் இதர சாதனங்கள் உற்பத்தி செய்யும் கவிமீனா என்ற சிறிய நிறுவனத்தின் ஊழியர்களான தீபன் மற்றும் ரமேஷ் சங்கர், காற்றமுக்க தொட்டி ஒன்றில் ரப்பர் லைனிங் பொருத்திட அண்ணா பல்கலைக்கழகத்திற்கு அனுப்பிவைக்கப்பட்ட சிறிது நேரத்திலேயே உயிரிழந்த நிலையில் கண்டெடுக்கப்பட்டனர். முதலாளிகளோ அரசு துறைகளோ இப்படியான துர்நிகழ்வுகளில் இருந்து எந்த பாடமும் கற்காத சூழலில், பிரச்சனைக்கான தீர்வுகளையும் கண்டறியாமல் இருக்க, இப்படியான விபத்துகளும் மரணங்களும் சென்னை மற்றும் பிற இடங்களில் பரவலாகி வருகின்றன. இதன் அடிப்படையில், அக்கறை கொண்ட குடிமக்கள் சிலர் உண்மை அறியும் குழு ஒன்றை அமைத்து , சம்பவத்திற்கான காரணிகளையும் பாதிக்கப்பட்ட குடும்பங்களின் நிலைமையையும் உறுதிப்படுத்த முயற்சி எடுத்துள்ளனர்.

கல்வியாளர்கள், தொழிலாளர் நல ஆர்வலர்கள், மாணவர்கள் மற்றும் கட்டிட கலைஞர்களை கொண்ட இக்குழு, மூன்று நாட்கள் இடைவெளியில் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட எல்லா தரப்பினருடனும் சந்தித்து (இதில் கவிமீனா தரப்பு மட்டும் பேச மறுத்துவிட்டனர்), நிகழ்வின் பின்னணி மற்றும் முக்கியமாக சம்பவத்திற்கு பிறகு அரசு இயந்திரங்களின் பாத்திரத்தையும் தவற விட்ட முன்னெச்சரிக்கை நடவடிக்கைகளை பற்றியும் விசாரித்தனர். குழு ஒருமனதாக தீர்மானித்துள்ளதன் படி, இரு இளம் தொழிலாளர்களின் மரணங்களும் தவிர்க்கப்பட்டிருக்க கூடியவை என்பதோடு, நிறுவன ரீதியான கவனக்குறைவு என்ற குற்றத்தால்ஏற்பட்ட இரு மரணங்களுக்கும் பிரதான முதலாளியான அண்ணா பல்கலைக்கழகமும் நேரடி முதலாளியான கவிமீனாவுமே பொறுப்பு. Continue reading

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