Thursday, September 30, 2010
(New Series No. 264, June 2010)
Palam Export A-205 Okhla Ph 1:
9:30 a.m.-1 a.m. production workers, 9:30 a.m.-5 a.m. finishing workers. Production workers stay back 15 days per month until 1 a.m. and stay till 5 a.m. for 3-4 days per month.
Finishing – 100 workers. 9:30am – 5 a.m. daily. After closing at 5 a.m., they start again at 5 a.m. Male workers sleep in the factory while women go back to their rooms. 50 women workers with these hours for 30 days in a month, become like corpses. One young worker (20, male) did this shift and then failed to come to duty since April because the doctor diagnosed heart trouble. Workers have been making complaints to labour office.
On May 14th, 11 p.m., the labour office raided the factory and found 400 workers working. The officials stayed until midnight and threatened the management. After the raid, the management released everyone at 6 p.m., after which the old schedule returned.
A new manager has been brought in since May 26th and asks, ‘how can a worker work 90 days in a month?’. He has ordered that those workers who are being called for night shift must have their names pinned up by 4 p.m.
Those directly hired workers are paid correct wages. Those hired through contractors are either paid peice-rate (tailors) or are paid Rs.130 – Rs.150/ 8 hrs (helpers). This is true even for those working for 8 to 9 years. There is no Provident Fund or ESI for 150 workers hired by contractors and overtime is paid.
Wages are paid late. April wages were paid on 15th-25th May. But the tailors hired through contractors are paid on the 7th itself because if they’re not, they strike. [Unlike permanent workers, the tailors can easily leave.) Permanent workers get Rs.40for 1 a.m. shift, while contract workers get Rs. 25. For 5 a.m. shift, permanent workers are paid Rs. 97; contract workers ae pad Rs. 57. But here at least, there is 4 p.m. tea, 8 p.m. tea and samosa, 11 p.m. tea, and 5 a.m. tea.
Workers of Denso factory making auto parts in Guong Dhong province, China. In early July instead of beginning work at start of shift, the workers just roamed around the factory and continued for 8 hours. The management asked the workers to start work but no workers did. The next day, they continued with the same. The union repeatedly requested the workers to start work but they did not. No sloganeering, no speeches, no violence. Workers did not present anyone as their leader or representative. Workers did not use PC or mobile phone to put up their demand, to ensure the company/ government could not single out anyone. Workers wrote on bits of paper and pinned up their demands. The management, desperate, asked the union to hold elections so that there would be someone with whom they could negotiate. The silent and peaceful workers did not elect anyone. The company finally increased wages and the workers resumed their work.