INDIA: After a long process of organizing, workers at a Ford plant in Chennai, India established the Ford India Employees' Union (FIEU) on May 18, 2010 and are now seeking recognition from management.
The workers formed the union in response to frequent changes in work organization with no consultation. For example, without consulting with workers, management keeps increasing the productivity targets at the plant, significantly intensifying the work on the production line, but without consideration of the workforce.
Ford employs 1,200 permanent employees at the plant and between 2,500 and 3,000 apprentices are also working on the production line. A further 600 materials handling jobs are outsourced to a separate logistics company.
The workers held a general meeting on April 2, 2010 and passed a resolution to form a union and elected its office bearers. This union, the Ford India Employees' Union, was officially registered on May 18, 2010. The union is affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). Although not affiliated to the IMF, the union hopes to join in the global network of unions representing Ford workers around the world.
The establishment of the union was reported to participants at an IMF regional meeting on communications and networking taking place in Chennai, India on June 19 and 20.
"We are calling on the Ford management to recognise our union. We call on the unions of Ford workers around the world to inform their local management that we have now established a union at the Ford plant in Chennai, India and that this union should be recognised," said FIEU Honourable President A. Soundararajan.