This refers to the report “WNS quells Nashik strike” (May 3). The government has intervened to defuse the crisis, even as the employees have been restrained from forming a union. The employers threatened to withdraw operations from Nashik since their customers, too, had expressed their reluctance to continue in the city. Earlier, during the Maruti strike, the employers were attempting to foist their union on the employees in spite of their repeated and prolonged agitation for their own right to a union. The state government sided with the management and ultimately the leaders were bought out. Even during the General Motors workers’ strike in Gujarat, the Narendra Modi government and the management successfully stalled the formation of a union in the factory for over a year.
These developments raise a serious concern about state governments flouting expressive provisions of the Constitution under Article 19(1)(c) that states: “All citizens have the right to form associations or unions.” The governments no doubt feel threatened by companies and the impact on investor sentiment. But if industry is able to coerce collective worker formations, what does that imply for workers who are not yet unionised?
Hari Parmeshwar Mumbai
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