Company says no to new union, workers to go on daily fast followed by hunger strike
The deadlock between the striking workers and management of Apollo Tyres Ltd continues with both the parties not reaching a consensus over the issue of recognition of the new union at the company's Waghodia plant.
The strike, which entered the tenth day, is likely to intensify further as workers have decided to go on a daily fast followed by a hunger strike. On the other hand, the company management has intimated to the labour commissioner that they are averse to the idea of recognising the union called Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh (BMS) formed at the plant.
"We have decided to observe daily fast from tomorrow till our demands are met. Initially, 15 to 20 workers will go on daily fast everyday. Later on, we plan to go on hunger strike," said Hussain Solanki, president, BMS.
According to BMS as many as 1,000 workers are still on strike.
The labour commissioner had called a meeting of the company management and workers today but the meeting could not take place as the company management made it clear that it would not give recognition to the new union formed at its Waghodia plant.
K O Shah, deputy labour commissioner, labour department, government of Gujarat, said that no meeting took place on Thursday.
"The management is firm that they will not give recognition to the newly formed union as per the striking workers' demand, and workers representatives have thus said that there is no point in having a meeting with the management if the basic premise of talks is not met", Shah said.
He also informed that around 800-900 workers are currently on strike at the factory premises and neither new workers have joined the strike nor have any striking workers resumed work.
"The number of striking workers remains the same as of now", he said. The issue is likely to take longer to resolve, according to district labour department sources.
It may be mentioned here that the workers at Apollo Tyres' Waghodia plant near Vadodara have been protesting the company's refusal to officially recognise the newly formed workers' union BMS within the plant as well as suspension of two employees.
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