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Union changes status of precarious workers at Siemens, India

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16 December, 2014In early December, 40 precarious workers at a Siemens factory in India received permanent contracts after negotiations between the trade union and management.

When Siemens started a satellite factory in India in June 2011, 42 workers were recruited as trainees. The traineeship was to last for a year, after which the workers were to receive permanent contracts.

But instead, upon completing the training the company changed the workers’ title to Trainee Officers. They were also informed in writing that they could not form or join any union.

In June 2012, the 40 Trainee Officers became members of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate Siemens Workers Union (SWU). After filing a complaint with the Industrial Court, the union got an injunction against firing the workers while the case was still pending. On 2 December 2014 a settlement between the company and the union was reached.

The workers were relocated to another company and received a range of benefits including: a 19 per cent increase in their monthly salary; permanent contracts with proper working hours; five more days of paid leave; bus transportation; improved food and healthcare facilities; and access to credit.  

SWU will continue to organize Siemens employees across India.