Unions say production is affected while management denies. On the whole turmoil boils down in the Nokia Siemens Chennai Plant.
The trouble at the Nokia Siemens Networks India’s Chennai plant blew up as the management had barred the entry of nearly 52 workers without ascertaining any valid reasons. In response to this candid behavior of the management, the permanent workers of the telecom equipment manufacturer staged a sit-in-strike on Monday at the Oragadam plant situated at 45 km from Chennai.
Trouble had been brewing since sometime at this plant. The early signs emerged when the workers were planning to establish another union in the premises, in addition to the Nokia Siemens Networks India Thozhilalar Sangam. The existing union is affiliated to Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). Sources say that on noticing the developments the company immediately transferred 15 workers to Kolkata without giving any advance notice or joining time.
The workers who went on strike, then, against the action taken by the management, all the 260 permanent workers were not allowed inside the factory during the third week of February, say sources. President of the only Union in the company, E. Muthukumar said, “At the conciliation meeting held by the Assistant Commissioner of Labour, the management agreed that the workers would be allowed and other issues would be sorted out by talks. Today (Monday) the company announced initiation of enquiry against the 52 workers, including union office bearers.”
“The production operations at Oragadam facility are running normally. We have offered our colleagues an opportunity to have an open dialogue to understand the employees’ concerns in a manner that is mutually conducive and rational in approach. We continue to treat all our employees with utmost respect and appreciation as we have in the past,” Satendra Singh, head of manufacturing operations, India was quoted in a statement issued by the company.
On the other hand Muthukumar retaliated, “Production has come to a halt. Around 170 workers are on sit-in strike and several workers are outside the factory gates. We have asked female workers to be at home.” On Tuesday a reconciliation meeting is to be organized between the Labor Authorities and the Union. The company at Chennai employs 260 permanent workers and 100 contract laborers. (With inputs from internet: AarKay)