|Friday, 30 September 2011 00:00|
If Maruti’s striking workers have the time, they need to take the first flight out to Detroit to protect the interests of auto workers in the US—their trade union, the United Auto Workers, has just signed a deal that, seen through the eyes of Maruti’s trade unions, is a clear sell out. Maruti’s unions, along with so many beautiful people in India, are up in arms at the increasing ‘casualisation’ of India’s workforce—around 40% of Maruti’s workforce comprises contract workers, and the figure is as high as 66% for India’s formal sector (it may employ just 25.4mn of India’s total workforce of 456mn, but it has the highest decibel power). The deal, it appears, is more about saving the US auto industry than it is about the rights of the workers there—after all these years of holding out, the UAW has bought the logic that if the US auto industry dies, there will be no jobs. What rot!
As a result, after the deal, General Motors is on record saying that even if US auto sales fall 15% over the current weak levels, the company will still break-even now. There is something about workers getting an additional $12,500 to $25,000 over the term of the contract if GM makes a profit of at least $5bn, and 6,400 new jobs are to be created. But these are low-paying jobs and will be more than made up by getting 17,000 veterans to leave with a severance pay of $75,000 per person. Fortunately in India, trade unions still understand their job is to protect the rights of minorities (about 6% of India’s workforce is employed in the formal industry sector) and not to worry about the great unwashed.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 25 November 2011 12:35 )|