In India, Foxconn workers are continuing their struggle for union representation. In the process, since October 2010, hundreds of workers were arrested, union leaders were imprisoned for nearly two weeks and tens of workers were suspended. Foxconn has been putting immense pressure on workers and union representatives to yield to a no-strike agreement and other company rules and regulations.
In India, Foxconn workers are continuing their struggle for union representation. In the process, on October 9, 2010, 319 workers were arrested, 12 union leaders imprisoned for 13 days and 24 workers were suspended.
In their struggle for union recognition and improved wages and conditions, the workers secured a Chennai High Court decision on January 4, 2011 ordering that within six weeks the Labour Department and Foxconn management conduct elections to decide on the majority union at the Foxconn plant.
Earlier on October 28 2010, the Chennai High Court granted an interim injunction restraining the Foxconn management from entering into any settlement with a union at the plant.
However, when the workers returned to work on November 18, 2010 after ending their strike action, the Foxconn management forced the workers to accept the backdated revised settlement entered with Foxconn India Thozhilalar Munnetra Sangam (FITMS), whereas the majority of workers are represented by the Foxconn India Thozhilalar Sangam (FITS) union, which is affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).
The returning workers were told the benefits of the new agreement would not be extended to them if they did not sign a letter accepting the new wage agreement and stating they would not engage in future strikes and must abide by company rules and regulations. The management also asked workers to resign their union office bearer posts in FITS and would only consider revoking their suspension on this condition.
On January 6, 2011, all suspended workers received a letter of internal enquiry on the charges against them. All the charges against the workers were framed according to the standing orders of the company, copies of which the workers have never received. On January 7, 2011, during the meeting with union officials at the labour commissioner's office, the management reiterated it will conduct an internal enquiry. In response FITS rejected the call for an internal enquiry and called on the management to discuss the issues in the labour commissioner's office.
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