Siemens Employee Federation make efforts on organizing Precarious Workers

25.10.2013

The Siemens Employee Federation (SEF) will set up 3 year project to make efforts on organizing all workers working directly or indirectly for the Siemens in India to ensure the same equal rights and working conditions as the permanent workers.

IndustriALL Global Union organized Siemens Employees Federation (SEF) Network Meeting on 16-18 October, in Thane, Maharashtra in India. 18 trade union leaders from 8 plants of Siemens, together with Kan Matsuzaki, director ICT Electrical&Electronics of IndustriALL and Dirk Linder, the representative of IG Metall actively discussed the agenda:

  • Current situation and issues with the unions of the SEF
  • Promoting sustainable workplace and union activities focusing on precarious work
  • Implementation of the Siemens global framework agreement and its training

The Siemens Group in India employs over 19,000 workers. The group has 21 manufacturing plants with a wide network of supply chains across the country. Unions of the SEF organize approximately 4,000 workers in 13 manufacturing plants, and is the biggest union network of Siemens workers within South Asia and the Southeast Asia region.

Union leaders from different locations shared common issues faced by Siemens workers in India such as pressure by the management. Over the years there has been a significant increase of precarious workers (contract and agency workers) in workplaces, the shifting of jobs from organized workplaces to un-organized workplaces and the de-unionization and unwanted promotion forced by the management. The unions also reported that the precarious workers at Siemens or at Siemens’ suppliers are restrained from joining or forming unions and there is a significant gap between them and the permanent workers with regards to wages, health-care benefits and social security. 

To tackle these issues, the unions have agreed that the SEF needs to gain union density at all of Siemens worksites and to be more powerful on collective negotiation with the management as the union network. At the meeting, the unions unanimously adopted the resolution on organizing workers including precarious workers which highlighted

“It is resolved that all employees working , directly or indirectly for the company, whether in the premises of the company or outside the company will be allowed to be members of respective constituent unions. The unions will make efforts to ensure them the same equal rights, wages and working conditions as of the permanent workers of the company”

The SEF will set up 3 year project to make efforts on organizing all workers working directly or indirectly for Siemens in India to ensure them the same equal rights and working conditions as permanent workers.

The SEF also strongly demanded that the Siemens GFA be implemented at all Siemens worksites and the need for the GFA to help in developing the union network of SEF to defend the workers’ rights and interests.  Uday Mahale, General Secretary of SWU (core union of SEF) stated that

With the view to implement GFA it was decided that SEF will train 55 union representatives. The training will be on  ILO’s core labour standards and significance of other clauses of the GFA. Since Siemens in India has largest operations in South Asia and South East Asia, it is expected that the next Meta-cluster meeting should be held in India. IndustriAll should support SEF to establish links with unions from these regions before the meeting.

On 18 October, Kan Matsuzaki, director ICT Electrical&Electronics of IndustriALL and Dirk Linder, the representative of IG Metall met with the HR management of Siemens India and exchanged views on the importance of a trade union network and the implementation of the GFA. The management expressed their intention towards creating a good and constructive relationship with the Siemens unions and will post the GFAs in local languages at worksites, as the first step of the implementation, in cooperation with the unions.

IndustriALL Global Union and IG Metall will continue to support the activities of the SEF and will focus on the implementation of the GFA as signatory parties.