Japanese Automobile Company Unipres Dismisses 127 Workers for Forming Union
CITU holds a rally to hoist the union flag outside the Unipres factory. Image credit: CITU
The Japanese automobile spare parts production company Unipres Corporation has denied work to 127 permanent employees for the 'offence' of unionising. For more than 60 days, since August 24, the workers have been denied entry into the factory, which is located in SIPCOT, Oragadam, in Kanchipuram district.
As per practice, the Unipres India Thozhilalar Sangam, affiliated with CITU, raised the union flag outside the factory and erected a name board on August 23. However, to the shock of the workers, SIPCOT and the Unipres management bulldozed the nameplate and the flag.
Within the next 30 hours, the workers again raised the flag. They gave a call for a rally; weavers and auto-rickshaw unions also participated, and the flag was hoisted by CITU state secretary A Soundararajan. Since then, as a punishment for practising their right to form a union, Unipres has denied work to the employees.
'REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE IN TALKS'
CITU has demanded the Tamil Nadu government intervene in the illegal turn-down of work by Unipres management. Negotiations are pending in the labour department. Meanwhile, CITU has accused Unipres of indulging in illegal production by employing unskilled workers.
The state labour department said Unipres should not stop the workers from coming to work. They should be allowed to work and participate in regular conciliation talks, declared the department.
However, Unipres did not participate in the talks called by the labour commissioner on September 27.
The CITU has categorically stated that they are ready for negotiation with the management, but the management's efforts to wipe out the union cannot be accepted.
The Unipres management refused to acknowledge the union since it was formed. This is part of the larger oppression trade unions face in the state-run industrial estates in Tamil Nadu.
POLICE USED FORCE
The Tamil Nadu police arrested the workers who were on a fasting protest on September 28.
E Muthukumar said, "A huge repression is enforced upon us by denying permission to hold a peaceful protest."
"The police support the illegal activity of the factory, which disrespects the government's labour department and tries to impose force on workers sitting on protest. This trend is strongly condemned," he said.
Stating that "denial of the right to form trade union amounts to the denial of constitutional rights," CITU Kanchipuram gave a call for a demonstration outside Renault-Nissan company in Oragadam, a purchaser of Unipres products on October 31 to demand its supplier company to act according to law.
NewsClick approached Unipres Corporation via their official website, but there was no response.
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