- Roland Walker, Corporate Communications, Holcim, Hagenholzstrasse 85, CH-8050 Zurich, Switzerland
SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE OF CONTRACT WORKERS AGAINST EXPLOITATION
BY HOLCIM IN CHHATTISGARH
Chhattishgarh is a mineral rich state that provides perfect opportunity to produce cement at most competitive prices. Raipur- Bilaspur belt provides the best location where both man and material is available cheaply. Government of Chhattisgarh gave lots of concessions with intentions that it will help in creating employment and contribute to the welfare of the people of the state. This resulted in mushroom growth of the cement industries in the area. Ultratech, Grasim, Century, Ambuja and Lafarge have come up with huge capacities in this belt. HOLCIM a Swiss based multinational has appeared on the scene by acquiring the ACC, AMBUJA etc.
Even though the natural mineral resources are exploited by those companies at a throw away prices, land forcibly acquired from the farmers at the cost of tears, Corporate cement companies are busy playing dirty games by not even respecting the rehabilitation package, as many of those land losers have been shown the exit door.
Very recently, it has come to light that few major companies have formed a cartel, resulting in abnormal hike in cement prices. Ten major cement producing companies are already served notices to that effect by the authorities.
As if this is not enough, the cartel is now busy to systematically exploit labours by squeezing them to exploit in a unified manner, which is a very serious matter.
Even "Cement Wage Board" agreement in force in the Indian cement industry which is the result of negotiations between the All India Cement Manufacturers Association and a group of central trade unions in the cement industry, which has been ratified from time to time, is not honored.
According to this agreement, contract labour is prohibited in the entire production process in the cement industry all over India, and even in the limited areas in which it is permitted - such as the loading and unloading of raw materials, contract labour are to paid at the same wage rate as regular employees.
Holcim, Lafarge, Century, and Ultratech have formed the Chhattisgarh Cement Manufacturers Association (CCMA). This Association has challenged the very jurisdiction of the State Government to make a reference in the first place, vide a writ petition before the Hon’ble Chattishgarh High Court, challenging the notification dated 31/12/60 bringing the cement industry under the purview of the MPIR Act, after more than 45 years! It is shocking to learn that the cartel has even managed to influence the concerned Respondent officer of the Central Government to support their case. If the CCMA succeeds in its conspiracy, it will intensify the attack against the already beleaguered working class of Chhattisgarh.
We appeal to all who feel strongly about this kind of exploitative stranglehold of big corporations - particularly foreign multinationals, to support the effort of the struggling contract workers in the cement industry in Chhattisgarh. Join the campaign against Holcim, Lafarge and Ultratech by exposing their misdeeds against workers, by signing the online petition and also declare your solidarity with Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh C/o Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha Office. Labour Camp, Jamul
Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, India
We, the undersigned, are upset to learn that the illegal and exploitative practice of your company that bluntly flouts Indian Labour Laws, which we deplore in strongest possible words.
We are also disturbed to learn that despite natural wealth stored in the womb of mother earth since billions and billions of years is exploited not for the welfare of the people of our country but to fill the coffers of the suspected cartel of the cement companies including HOLCIM.
It is also expected from a responsible corporate house, to discharge their social obligations and corporate duties including honoring the rehabilitation package as well as agreement of the Cement Wage Board, hat has been executed.
Yours being a responsible multinational company, it is your duty to take care of your workforce, unfortunately it is not done. At your Jamul works (which you acquired from ACC) at Bhilai, in Chhattisgarh state of India, you are not honoring even the order of the State Industrial Court to regularize the workmen and the existence of "CEMENT AWARD" that is applicable in the entire Cement Industry in India."
We, the undersigned, earnestly appeal to you to please not allow greed to overtake the interests of the workforce who have worked hard to improve your balance sheets. Please also do not hurt the sentiments of the farmers whose land has been given to you against their will by forcibly acquiring the same.
The SAVE WORKERS IN THE CEMENT INDUSTRY petition to Roland Walker, Corporate Communications, Holcim, Hagenholzstrasse 85, CH-8050 Zurich, Switzerland was written by Pravin Patel and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.