Truce Between Bellsonica Workers, Management; Suspended Employees to be Reinstated
New Delhi: An agreement has been reached between the management and the workers’ union of Bellsonica, an auto manufacturing company located in Manesar, Haryana. This agreement was reached on June 1 after a two-day strike, in which the management entered into a written agreement with the union.
The management and the union have been at loggerheads for the past two years over retrenchment and enforcement of labour laws. But from May 4, 2023, the union started day and night strikes and successive hunger strikes. On June 1, at noon, an agreement was reached between the union and the management under 12(3) of the Industrial Disputes Act (1948) with written conditions. After that, the striking permanent workers called off the tool down strike and returned to work in shift 'B' the same afternoon.
Recall that it was the 29th day of the dharna at the company gate. Before this, the workers went on a 24-day hunger strike and a two-day hunger strike. After that, the workers went on a tool-down strike.
The tool-down strike was called off on the 29th day of the dharna at the company gate only after the union and the management agreed to written terms under 12(3) of the Industrial Disputes Act (1948).
The union said in its statement that the agreement was mediated by the labour department, police and administration.
Recall that 13 employees were suspended, and 17 were sacked, i.e. out of these 30 workers, the management has brought back 10 suspended workers.
“The union welcomes this positive thinking of the management. Along with this, the union wholeheartedly welcomes the cooperation of the labour department, police and administration. The question of running the factory for the management and livelihood of the workers are both interrelated questions. The union hopes that with this positive approach, the management and the union will resolve other pending issues at the earliest,” the statement read.
Along with this, the union leaders said that on other pending issues, they would find a solution by negotiating as soon as possible. As long as the talks go on, the struggle will continue, it said. The union is still firm on the principle of "attack on the job of one worker, attack on the job of all workers".
With the spirit of teamwork with which the labourers have been doing production work in the factory, with the same spirit of unity and discipline, the labourers will also fight for their livelihood, the union said.
At present, information has been received on the agreement on the following points, which will be updated later if needed:
1) The 10 permanent workers suspended by the management from March 30, 2023, will be taken back by the management in the subsequent three phases.
2) In the first phase, three suspended permanent workers will be taken back to work on the following day, i.e. June 2, 2023,
In the second phase, after this week, three suspended workers will be taken back to work.
In the third phase, after a week, the manager will take the four suspended workers back to work.
Pending inquiry will continue on all the suspended workers.
The pending inquiry will be completed soon by the Inquiry Officer, and its report will be submitted to the Inquiry Committee. The decision will be taken based on the report and all the documents. Apart from the labour department, there will be one representative each from the company management and the union in the committee.
3) Apart from this, both parties have also agreed that three suspended office bearers of Bellsonica Mazdoor Union, Mahendra Kapoor (President), Ajit Singh (General Secretary) and Sunil Kumar (Organising Secretary), will be taken over later. Only the Inquiry Committee will decide on this later.
3) The management will not take any disciplinary action in retaliation against any workers involved in the tool-down strike from May 30, based on written consent.
4) To bring back the 17 terminated workers (14 permanent and three contract workers), both the management and the union together will try to find some solution on humanitarian grounds and positively within a month.
5) Both parties have agreed that all the workers and managers will behave and work well. Will not act out of revenge in any way.
6) Both the parties have agreed that under Industrial Disputes Act (ID Act) 2K, both the parties, i.e. union and management, will find a way out in a sympathetic manner even on the pending demand letter within one month.
7) Both parties agreed that all the union representatives would continue negotiating with the manager on the demand letter.
While sharing the above information, the union also said in its statement that it needs to be noted that during the consent process, 3,000 police personnel were stationed by the administration. Once, an attempt was also made to remove them and detain them forcibly. However, the workers remained united. Later, the decision was taken from the Labour Department in the presence of senior officers like LC, ALC, DLC, Labour Inspector Administration and SHO and Tehsildar.
The union said the strike had been called off only after the written conditions had been agreed upon between Bellsonica workers and the company management. “Still, we need to be very careful. The way forward to implement it is not easy,” it added.
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