CHENNAI: Workers in Myoung Shin Automotive India Pvt Ltd (MSI) in Mannur village in Sriperumbudur district of Tamil Nadu, have been on strike since September 6, demanding increments, fair wages and recognition of their union among others. Out of 750 workers employed in the factory, only about 150 are permanent, said the striking MSI workers’ union, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). The company is the Indian subsidiary of Korean manufacturer Myung Shin, and supplies machinery parts to Korean auto major Hyundai India’s plant in Irungattukottai.
The protesting workers from MSI have alleged that the company has also not fulfilled its promise regarding increments and recognition of the labour union.
MSI Automotive began its operations in Mannur district on 2006. Since only about a 150 workers are permanent, only these have gone on strike as the rest are either trainees or temporary staff.
The company’s production is practically handled by NEEM (National Employability Enhancement Scheme) trainees or temporary staff, all of whom are posted in core production.
The striking workers also alleged that recruiting temporary staff for core work in a factory was a clear violation of labour law.
The workers have already reached out to Factories Inspectorate (Department of Industrial Safety and Health) regarding employing temporary staff for the core production.
The workers said the company follows the practice of relieving the trainees after two or three years, which saves them a huge amount in their wage expenditure.
In 2011, the company had set up a working committee with representation of workers to figure out a wage agreement. The last wage agreement lapsedended oin 2016, after which the workers had put forth new demands, including an raise in increment.
However, But the management refused to accept this demand, which led the workers to approach the CITU and forming a union.
MSI had allegedly forced some employees to sign for a marginal increment. About 10 of them had signed the papers under pressure, some workers said.
After the strike began, the company had recruited temporary staff to continue manufacturing. However, the union has decided to intensify their protest to put pressure on the state government to intervene in the matter, said Kannan, CITU Kanchipuram District Secretary.
The company has reportedly also denied the employees their increments for 13 months, when they formed a union, 15 of them were suspended, including office bearers , he said.