For the last 15 years, management at PH Cooling Towers in Kolkata, India, has denied workers wage revision, resulting in distress and hardship for the workers and their families. Management’s response to the union’s demand for a wage revision was the dismissal of three workers. When the union organised a one-day token strike at Paharpur Cooling Towers on 26 February, management employed local goons and attacked three union activists.
But despite the hardships, workers have resolved to continue the struggle by intensifying protest actions until their dismissed colleagues are reinstated, and management agrees to discuss a wage revision.
On behalf of the workers, Kamal Tewari, President, Paharpur Cooling Towers Mazdoor Sabha, stated:
“The action of the management constitutes unfair labour practices. Paharpur workers have taken the oath that they will fight till their last. The Union appeal to fraternal organizations to extend solidarity support for the struggling workers.”
Matthias Hartwich, IndustriALL Global Union director for mechanical engineering and materials industries, says:
“Unfair dismissals, refusal of wage increase, no wage negotiations: this is an absolutely unacceptable conduct for any employer. This is not only a clear violation of OECD guidelines, but also a breach of civilized behaviour. It is a shame that things like these happen in the 21st century in a civilized country.
Paharpur workers have the right to become unionized and demand wage negotiations and increase.