Three years after winning permanent jobs for 452 workers employed for more then a decade as casuals at the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Horlicks factory in Nabha, northwest India, the union faces a vicious backlash from the company.
In recent months the IUF-affiliated Milk Food Factory Workers Union has demanded the reduction of working hours of milk collection centre workers from 16 hours to 8 hours without loss of pay and increased hiring of permanent workers. The union is also struggling to reduce excessive working hours in the factory’s engineering department.
In response GSK Horlicks management launched a series of attacks on the union including false charges and suspension of union members, arbitrary wage cuts for over 300 workers, court injunctions against union meetings, and legal action against union leaders. Management is now threatening to slash wages of 500 workers by 18% as punishment for supporting the union.