Strike continues at Asahi Glass as management refuses to reinstate terminated workers

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on May 20, 2019 Published on May 20, 2019

Company says plant utilisation at 100%, supply to customers unaffected by strike

The talks on Sunday between the management of Asahi Glass and a section of its striking workers failed to reach an agreement as both the sides stuck to their respective stands.

The workers have been on strike since March 25, seeking the reinstatement of 28 of their colleagues terminated from work.

The management was not ready to talk about the terminated employees while striking workers, backed by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), affiliated to the Communist Party of India, stuck to their demand of reinstating them, said union sources.

The terminated employees were initially part of the United Labour Federation, but later joined CITU.

Union sources claimed that all the 206 permanent employees are participating in the strike. However, a senior company official said: “Almost 90 per cent of the plant manpower is working as usual except for some workers avoiding work to support the 28 terminated workmen. We have 100 per cent utilisation of the plant with the above workforce including several permanent workmen. We have been making supplies to our customers without any disturbance.”

The automobile glass maker supplies products to auto majors such as Hyundai, Ford, Nissan, Maruti and Daimler.

Row over ‘gift’

The trouble at the plant located in Sriperumbudur, near here, started in June 2017, with workers demanding 14-gram gold coins as a gift on the plant’s 10th anniversary.

The management declined the request but offered a lesser sum as cash incentive. Unhappy with the decision, workers resorted to a “go slow” for over a month.

Workers suspended

Based on an 18-month enquiry, the company suspended 34 employees in July 2017 and issued chargesheets to them. It issued a second show-cause notice in August 2018, proposing punishment and asking for explanations. In October, it dismissed 28 employees.

On February 5, CITU demanded an unconditional reinstatement of all the 28 workmen. No headway was made and, on March 5, the union issued a notice warning of an indefinite strike from March 25.

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Published on May 20, 2019
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