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Wage revision issue: MRF workers call off strike in Chennai

In a major relief to thousands of workers at tyre major MRF’s Tiruvottiyur plant in Chennai, the management and the MRF Workers’ Union (the recognised union for decades) have reached an amicable solution on the long-pending wage revision issue. The management is also said to have agreed to remove those cameras (which are unwanted) and also agreed to not use the cameras for victimisation, sources in the know told FE here.

According to reliable sources, following an amicable settlement, thousand-odd workers of the Tiruvottiyur plant (the mother plant) are expected to get a monthly hike of Rs 16,500, effective February 1, and would get another hike of Rs 500 a month after two years (effective February 2021). Following which, the workers’ union had decided to call off the strike with immediate effect, sources added.

According to reliable sources, following an amicable settlement, the union of thousand-odd workers of the Tiruvottiyur plant (mother unit) had decided to call off the strike with immediate effect, sources added.

When contacted, a senior member of the workers’ union confirmed the developments and told FE: “Both the management and the workers union have arrived at a solution on the year-long wage revision issue. Following an agreement, a worker will get a monthly hike of Rs 16,500 a month, effective February 1, 2019, and another monthly hike of Rs 500, effective February 1, 2021.”

To a specific question, the workers’ union member said: “The wage revision was due for two terms — 2013 and 2017. Following an agreement now, we will be getting arrears for those years, however, at 60% level of Rs 16,500 hike a month. Hope we will be getting the same as early as possible.”

Majority of the workers have agreed to the terms and conditions of new wage agreement at the union referendum meeting held on Monday, following a detailed discussions among workers held on Sunday. “The union is satisfied with the developments,” he added.

On the CCTV cameras issue, he said, while we agreed to the management’s suggestion of having cameras installed at the plant and machinery for safety and security purposes, the management in turn also agreed to remove some of the cameras where not required (in places where workers throng). The management also agreed to not use those CCTV footages for victimisation in future, he added.

According to him, the management has also partly agreed to one of our main demands — readmission of those 31 dismissed workers. It has agreed to take back 10 of the 31 workers who were dismissed over the years for various reasons. These workers will be, however, deployed at the offices of the company in Chennai as staff members, he said further.

It may be recalled that the workers were on strike since February 9 for want of wage revision as well as removal of surveillance cameras being put up across the plant. The management termed the strike as illegal and informed the same to the stock exchanges recently.