On 21-23 December 2013, 36 participants from 14 different companies in the cement industry attended an IndustriALL Global Union workshop on industrial unionism, part of the IndustriALL Asia Multinational Corporations and Social Dialogue Project.
The aim of the workshop was to discuss a strengthening of the industrial federations, and especially the preparation of the Cement Industry Collective Bargaining beginning in February 2014. Participants prepared the negotiations and discussed demands and strategies for the upcoming negotiations in the Indian cement sector. Participants came from Grindwell Norton Ltd. at Nagpur and Bangalore, Saint Gobain Crystals at Bangalore and Saint Gobain Crystals at Palakad and Saint Gobain Gyproc at Bangalore, ACC (Holcim)-Madhukari, VOLVO India, Walvoil India, UltraTech Cement, India Cement, Tamil Nadu Cement, Chettinad Cement, Malabar Cement, Theramco Cements, Madras Cement, Zuari Cement, Ramkrishna Cement and KCP Cement.
During the workshop, participants from the different companies and plants discussed their situations, difficulties and opportunities. It was decided to create a national Saint Gobain network (Glass manufacturer). Participants agreed to propose a national committee consisting of six member and it was decided that the role of the committee is to:
- Build stronger union representation throughout Indian Saint Gobain Units
- Maintain communication within this network and share their achievements and ongoing struggles;
- Establish close links between trade union networks including global as well as regional network;
- Email the details on monthly basis.
- Continue the mapping of new unions operating in Saint Gobain India group.
- Fight against precarious work;
- Trainings for Saint Gobain union leaders based on best practices and exchanging knowledge; and
- Focus on occupation and health matters including facilities for precarious workers to raise awareness and organising new members
The committee is to meet in six months for an evaluation of achievements, as well for a quarterly action plan. It was proposed to nominate one national contact person to coordinate the work with the national centre, regional and global Saint Gobain network, IndustriALL, and Mr. Girish Kumar, General Secretary of Grindwell Norton Worker’s Union in Bangalore.
Participants in the workshop also asked the national project coordinator to prepare a questionnaire about trade union rights and social dialogue in the Saint Gobain group, as well as to evaluate management practices with regards to sustainable industrial policy.