The strike by workers at Tata Motors’ Sanand plant entered its 27th day on Saturday, with more than 350 workers being detained by the police while holding a demonstration at Sanand GIDC Gate 2. Along with the workers, about a 100 others were arrested, including members of 22 unions who have expressed support for the striking workers, and residents of the area.
The newly-formed workers union Bhartiya Kamdar Ekta Sangh (BKES) failed to present the authorisation from all the striking workers, which the company had asked for during a meeting with the Labour Commissioner on Friday.
“We were detained by the police as soon as we started gathering for the demonstration. There was no time to submit the file. We have all the signatures ready since we filed for the union’s registration in December. We will give it to them soon,” said Hitesh Rabari, President of BKES.
In an e-mailed statement after the meeting, the company said, “Tata Motors thanks the DLC Ahmedabad for mediating when he called the meeting with the worker representatives to resolve this illegal strike. The meeting concluded with the understanding that the adhoc Workmen Committee will submit on Sunday the authorisation that clearly shows at least 70 per cent of the striking workmen authorised this committee for future negotiations, with a meeting planned for next week.”
The workers are continuing with the agitation, despite having achieved recognition from the Gujarat government for their union, which had been one of the major causes for dispute between the workers and Tata Motors’ management.
“We are happy that the union has been recognised. However our major demand remains to have our 28 suspended colleagues reinstated, and our agitation will continue until a compromise is reached over the matter,” Rabari stated.
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