AITUC blames 'exploitative' practices of Wistron Corp for workers' violence
Lambasting the State government over the recent violence at Wistron Corporation, the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) blamed it on ‘exploitative’, ‘illegal’ practices of the employer and the complete lack of regulation by the government.
Bengaluru: Lambasting the State government over the recent violence at Wistron Corporation, the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) blamed it on 'exploitative', 'illegal' practices of the employer and the complete lack of regulation by the government.
"The sweatshop-like conditions at the factory combined with the failure to provide basic rights such as working hours and payment of wages led to the spontaneous violence," the trade union stated.
AITUC demanded action against the employer and contract labour agencies.
"It is reported that more than 85% of the workforce was contractual. This is a blatant and atrocious abuse of the Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act, whereby work of permanent and perennial nature is farmed out to contract agencies. We demand that government initiate measures against the employer and the contract agencies," said M D Harigovind, General Secretary of the AITUC.
"Several irregularities in payment of wages led to delayed payments, illegal deduction of wages contributed to unrest among the workforce. Even engineering and MBA graduates were forced to work as operators on such low wages as Rs 12,000 per month. The management has 12-hour shifts, staggered weekly holidays and women are working in night shifts without any regulation. AITUC demands that the State governments should initiate action against such exploitative practices," he said. In a list of demands the AITUC also asked the State government to end police brutality on workers.
"There has been a large-scale repression of workers including physical violence by the police against the workers in this incident. We demand an immediate stop to the police brutality and release of all arrested workers," the statement by the AITUC read.
In addition, AITUC has written to the State Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar to ensure that Central Trade union representatives with experience in industrial relations should be included in the investigation team in this matter in order to represent the views of the workers.
An excerpt of the letter to the minister read, "Karnataka has established itself as an industrial powerhouse and the industrial relations in the State have always been peaceful and cordial. This incident has garnered international attention due to the nature of globalized supply chains today. We believe that there is a false anti-worker narrative is being pushed in this matter and workers are being hounded and harassed by the police department. Reports of the police rounding up and beating up workers are deeply disturbing and shameful."
Hebbar, on Monday stated that the labour ministry did not receive any complaints related to wage issues at the Wistron facility.