Unions at Siemens in India: Need to cooperate

15.12.2009

Unions discuss closer cooperation and networking within Siemens operations in India.

INDIA: On December 5 - 7, 2009 the International Metalworkers' Federation, supported by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, organized a seminar for unions organizing workers in the different locations of Siemens in India. This was the first time ever that these unions belonging to different union federations and partly without a membership in national federations came together.

Werner Mönius, chairman of the Siemens SEC (European Works' Council Siemens), Dieter Scheitor (IG Metall coordinator for Siemens) and Robert Steiert (IMF) informed about the company's strategy & development and the necessity of networking within transnational companies.

The Indian unions reported and discussed the industrial relations within Siemens India and pointed out especially tendencies to "promote" manual workers to "officers" to convince them not to join unions. Some unions complainted about increased tensions with management and a development to an outsourcing of low-wage jobs and the use of contract and precarious labour.

The necessity of networking and closer cooperation was seen by the participating unions and resulted in the decision to create a structure for this cooperation nationally and to strengthen the connections to the union in the mother company.

3 colleagues were nominated for developping concrete proposals for such a formal structure which shall be discussed and hopefully accepted by the unions present on the seminar. Further unions which could not take part in this years' workshop shall be integrated step by step into the upcoming network and structure.