Nokia talks falter
In India talks between unions and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) factory management have failed after more then 70 people were arrested during a protest in front of the NSN factory gate in Oragadam, Sriperumbudur last week.
According to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the NSN management took a hard-line position, refusing to recognise and engage with the representatives of the Nokia Siemens Networks Workers Union who took part in the protest. NSN has also sacked five workers suspended last year for engaging in union activities.
Workers at the Oragadam plant have been staging protests against the factory for over a year, demanding wage increases, the reinstatement of suspended workers and recognition of the union.
In a letter sent to the Good Electronics Network, Cividep India and Finnwatch, NSN states that it will not recognise a ”politically affiliated” union and that it ”prefers direct discussions and negotiations with employee representatives”. NSN has failed to explain to campaigners what it conceives to be a politically affiliated union, and whether the employee representatives that are deemed fit for negotiations are democratically elected by workers or selected by the management.
Campaigners say that refusal to recognise a trade union such as CITU constitutes a violation of ILO conventions on Freedom of Association, Indian labour law and Nokia's own Code of Conduct.
Good Electronics and the unions now are demanding that Nokia Siemens, respect workers’ rights to unionise and to bargain collectively, recognise the Nokia Siemens Networks Workers Union, meet workers' demands for an increment in wages so that they are paid a living wage and that the five sacked workers are re-instated.
Nokia Siemens Networks is currently 50/50 Nokia and Siemens but Nokia has bought Siemens' share. The transaction is likely to close in the last quarter of 2013.
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