23 July, 2015You can lend your support to the 1,140 mineworkers at the Odisha Project of Thriveni Earthmovers who are facing harsh retaliation from their employer to their effort to organize a union. The backlash has included death threats. Click here to write to the Thriveni management and local government.
Thriveni is a large scale Indian mining company that sells coal and iron ore to the global market leaders such as Tata Steel.
The organizing drive is being conducted by IndustriALL Global Union affiliate HKMF, the national mineworkers union, and supported by the IndustriALL project to organize workers in the steel, mining and energy sectors of India.
Thriveni’s Odisha Project based in Unchabali includes the following iron ore mines: Unchabali, Balde, Guali, Nuagaon, Thakurani, Jurudi, Ghatkuri, SM & Co, Deojhar, and Murgabeda.
Workers at all of the above locations organized the Thriveni Mazdoor Sabha union from September 2014, with 250 already members and 850 further supporting workers. Thriveni already sacked seven leading organizers on 16 September. Once registered the union will become part of the HKMF.
IndustriALL is informed that B Prabhakaran, the Thriveni owner and Managing Director threatened the union president, Panchratna Mahakud saying that he will be sent thousands of kilometers away and killed. Brother Panchratna was ultimately dismissed on 22 June on sham charges.
HKMF has been forced to raise its case with the Ministry of Labour and Indian Prime Minister’s Office, and is supported in this by INMF, the IndustriALL affiliated national metalworkers federation.
IndustriALL Global Union assistant general secretary Kemal Özkan states:
IndustriALL will not stand by and allow Thriveni to intimidate its mineworkers with death threats and bullying. We have raised our concerns with key buyer Tata and demand that the local authorities do their job and stop the abuse.
IndustriALL Global Union South Asia Regional Secretary Apoorva Kaiwar said:
IndustriALL condemns the anti-worker, anti-union behaviour of Thriveni Earthmover’s Company, and appeals to all IndustriALL affiliates to stand with the Thriveni workers who are fighting for their legitimate rights and justice.
S Q Zama, General Secretary of the Indian National Mines Workers Federation (INMF) and Rajendra Prasad Singha, Hind Khadan Mazdoor Federation (HKMF) jointly state:
"Thriveni Earthmovers is a company that does not respect the law of the land and democratic trade unions. We appeal to all the affiliates of IndustriALL, all over the world to support this movement, where the president of the union has been dismissed illegally by the employers."