Published: 11/07/2011

Following the example of last year’s victory at the GSK Horlicks plant in Nabha, northwest India, the union at the Horlicks plant in Rajmundry in Andhra Pradesh, won permanent jobs for 205 casual workers under the new Collective Agreement signed recently.

After two decades of precarious employment the 205 casual workers can finally access their fundamental trade union rights, joining the permanent workers’ union and securing the protection and benefits of the Collective Agreement for the first time. The number of permanent workers at the Horlicks Rajmundry plant is now 900.

On 28 May 2010 the Milk Food Factory Workers Union at the Horlicks factory in Nabha, in the state of Punjab in northwest India, won its fight to include casual workers’ rights to permanent jobs in the Collective Agreement. Under the agreement 452 casual employed on a ‘temporary’ basis for more than a decade were made permanent. Following this victory IUF coordinated the exchange of information between the unions at Nabha and Rajmundry. The union at the Rajmundry plant responded by including similar demands in their collective agreement proposals in January 2011.

There are now 2,550 permanent workers – all union members – at the Nabha and Rajmundry plants, manufacturing dairy-based nutritional malt drinks under the global brand Horlicks which is owned by the pharmaceutical, health and personal care products giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). India is GSK’s biggest market worldwide for Horlicks products and dominates more than 50 per cent of the health food drinks market in India.