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Union power yields collective bargaining agreements

19 January, 2023Unions in India’s Pune region, who are members of IndustriALL affiliate Shramik Ekta Mahasangh, signed nine collective bargaining agreements with multinational companies in 2022.

For Shramik Ekta Mahasangh, 2022 was a year of successful struggles. Factory-level unions signed collective bargaining agreements with multinational conpanies (MNCs) that manufacture technological products used in several industries like electronics, automotive, power generation, healthcare, agricultural machinery, and oil and gas.

The agreement negotiated with Avery Dennison, based in the United States, increased workers' wages by INR29,400 (US$360). With the Swiss company Hoerbiger, the wage raise was INR27,660 (US$339).
Workers negotiated hard to include health check-ups, medical claims, leave allowances, shift allowances, performance bonuses, yearly increments, retirement benefits, canteen facilities, children’s education, skill training and trade union rights in the collective bargaining agreements.

Union successfully bargained with a Finnish company, Wartsila, that workers must be allowed to take a short leave for an hour, during working hours for emergency union meetings that cannot be held after official factory working hours. The company will also allocate a desktop at a common place for union work.

Korean multinational, Myung Sung, agreed to provide educational assistance for workers’ children. Brembo Brakes India, a subsidiary of Italian company Brembo, agreed to include unions in the process of introducing new technology or modernization of plants.

Apoorva Kaiwar, IndustriALL south Asia regional secretary, says:

“IndustriALL congratulates the unions and Shramik Ekta Mahasangh for having successfully signed the collective bargaining agreements. The agreements show that healthy industrial relations are very much needed to advance workers’ rights."