Sunday, September 28, 2008

Growing chasm between businessmen and workers

The Business Standard speaks of a growing chasm between businessmen and factory workers. About 200 permanent workers of the Italian firm Graziano Trasmissioni are either in jail or underground, following the murder of the company’s managing director last week, allegedly at the hands of agitating workers. But the scene outside the factory gates tells of other realities. Casual workers queue up at the gates in Greater Noida, in Uttar Pradesh, seeking to rejoin after their break period. The presence of the police and the media at the gates doesn’t seem to bother them. The company has about 500 such workers, some of whom replaced the 200 permanent workers who had been dismissed. These workers are less likely to cause trouble to the company by unionising or making demands on the management. If they don’t like the factory environment or the work, they are likely to just go elsewhere.

Without unions to represent the workers, and with perceptions differing sharply on what is the problem that needs to be tackled, the people who now have the state on their side are the businessmen, not the workers.

IMO: A potentially disastrous situation, which should not be allowed to continue. The workers have the votes but the businessmen have the bribes to pay to politicians etc. Why no proper worker's representation ? That stinks of corrupt fascism, some might almost say "US fascism'.. But UP has always had problems of one kind or another. Another firm in Noida has now had unidentified youths make an attempt to kidnap a 37-year-old top executive of an American software company, and that sort of thing must be expected in such circumstances. It's all almost grist to the mill of the Naxals, who by now might claim large elements of control in central India.

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