Workers of two Mahindra plants in Uttarakhand (under the banner of Mahindra CIE workers organization) have won their demands after a resolute struggle that began on 18th May 2017 when their demands for an annual wage rise were not implemented. The struggle stretched over four months with workers using several forms of protest on the shop floor.
In 2016, two plants of Mahindra in Uttarakhand witnessed a collective united struggle which had stretched for over 45 days. This included three days of tool down strikes. The collective resistance was to demand reinstatement of two dismissed workers who were suspended following concerted demands made by the workers for annual wage rise. The workers succeeded and the two workers were reinstated.
In the first phase of the struggle this year, workers started working without meals as a mode of protest. As this had no effect on the management, workers started a two-hour daily tool down from 18th July which expanded to three hour long tool down from 20th July. On 28th July senior superintendent of police became involved and the tool down was called off. However, workers continued with their work without meal protest.
On 3rd August, the additional district magistrate assured the workers that their demands will be met and requested them to end their 80-day long “work without meal” strike. Workers agreed and called off the strike. However as the management was not ready to listen to their demands, they started yet another tool down on 18th August. On 21st August, the management closed the factory gates of one of the plants so that workers were trapped inside, and called in the police to lathi charge the workers in which many workers got injured. In the evening police arrested workers of both the plants and detained them for two hours in
On the evening of 26th August the management backed down and agreed to the following demands in the presence of the additional district magistrate:
1. Salary increase of Rs.5000 for 3 years which includes 60% increase in first year and 20% increase in second and third years.
2. The agreement will remain effective from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2019.
3. The workers will put up their next set of demands in November 2019 and management will address the demand letter by December 15, 2019
4. Arrears of the period of January 2017- July 2017 will be paid with the salary of January 2018.
5. There will be an internal enquiry on the issue of 10 workers who were suspended during this phase of the struggle. The enquiry will be completed within 45 days of the date of the agreement.