Bengaluru: ITI Ltd. Refuses Employment to Over 130 Workers For Unionizing

The workers have claimed that the management initiated such illegal actions as workers of ITI Ltd. unionized last year under banner of KGLU of AICCTU.

Protests at ITI Ltd.

Workers of Bengaluru’s premier factory ITI near KR Puram had to face an early morning shock on 1st December 2021. M/s ITI Ltd. has unilaterally stopped all the workers from 01.12.2021 at 8 AM in the morning and has refused to permit them to undertake their works.

M/s ITI Ltd. Falls directly under the Department of Telecommunication, Ministry of Communication, Government of India. While M/s ITI claims that a new contractor has been employed, it has not provided any reason to state as to why these workers who have worked for 5-30 years are being refused employment.

Protests at ITI Ltd.

Women and men who have worked for decades were prevented by the security from entering the premises. Pertinently, the case for recognizing the workers as permanent workers is pending before the Regional Labour Commissioner, Government of India who
has instructed them that the conditions of service of these workers should not be
altered during this time. M’S ITI Ltd. stands in blatant violation of this and in total disrespect of the law.

Faced with no other option, workers have sat down in protest outside the factory premises since yesterday.

The workers have claimed that the management chose to initiate such illegal actions as the core workers of ITI Limited who were subjected to work under contracts that were nothing but a sham unionized last year under the banner of Karnataka General Labour Union affiliated to All India Council of Central Trade Unions (AICCTU) and started demanding their rights including minimum wages.

The workers are demanding the Ministry of Communication and the Central Labour
Department to immediately intervene and ensure that the workers are permitted to work and ensure that the management ITI Limited does not indulge in such illegalities in the future.

Speaking to gaurilankeshnews.com, the worker leader Hemanth stated that “We have been protesting since yesterday. The management has not responded to the demands of the workers. Today, PSI Manjunath of KR Puram Police Station initiated a negotiation wherein the management claimed that it cannot be held responsible as the workers have been employed through contractors. However, contrary to their claims, we have been working with ITI Limited for several years now. In our factory, the contractor only manages the employees and does not hire them. The management stated in the meeting that they would provide all the documents to prove that the employees are not hired directly by the management but through the contractor by 4.00 PM today. We have challenged them stating that if they are able to prove that we have been hired through the contractor, we will not hold any protests. However, they haven’t gotten back on the issue as yet. We were thinking that the issue will be resolved today. However, it didn’t. Hence, we are planning to organize protests all through the day and night from tomorrow. ”

Adding information about the number of employees affected by the issue, Hemanth said that “While 130-140 employees are affected by the management’s illegalities, the administration is resorting to its classic divide and rule strategies. They have carefully handpicked 30-40 employees amongst us to work with them in the departments that are very essential including the canteen. However, our protests will continue.”

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