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Schneider Electric workers rally for union rights in India

11 June, 2018Workers of Luminous Power Technologies owned by Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management rallied protesting against vindictive actions, caste abuses of the management and demanded the right to freedom of association.

Condemning transfer of union office bearers and demanding the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, Luminous Power Technologies workers held a rally on 9 June 2018 at Gagret Tehsil Amb, District Una Himachal Pradesh.

Workers by their collective decision formed their own organization Luminous Power Technologies Workers Union on 26 March 2018, in response to increasing violations of their rights, poor working conditions and problems with occupational health and safety.

The union has completed all the process required for union registration. However, as soon as the management learnt of the workers’ initiative to form the union, it unleashed various vindictive and union busting activities including threatening union committee members and changing work shift of all union office bearers in order to isolate them and undermine their ability to meet other union members at workplace.

Further, the management has transferred all 12 office bearers to the company Hosur Tamilnadu plant, which is more than 2,800 km away from Himachal Pradesh. The transfer of all office bearers, just before initiation of the trade union verification process by the labour administration, cannot be a coincidence and will inevitably halt union formation efforts.

According to workers, some managers of Luminous Power Technologies used abusive language based on the caste of the union office bearers in order to humiliate them and denigrate the union in front of other workers and restrain them from joining the union. Workers have filed a police complaint against those abusive management officials.

In their letter to Schneider Electric management workers demanded that company:

  • stops union busting activities, harassment and victimization of union office bearers,
  • puts in practice their own commitment to diversity expressed in company values,
  • must maintain neutrality in union registration process,
  • revokes transfers of all union office bearers and other workers,
  • engages in constructive discussions with the union office bearers to improve wages, working conditions and occupational safety and health.
  • punishes company officials who indulged in caste abuses against office bearers.