GMT workers in protest demanding pay hike

Report by a correspondent of Workers Unity Movement

More than 300 workers working at Guindy Machine Tools (GMT) at Pallikaranai, Chennai are on strike from 22 March demanding a wage hike and other basic necessities. The previous wage contract between the workers and the company expired in May 2023.

GMT-WorkersGuindy Machine Tools is a company that manufactures chucks and other holding devices necessary to operate machines such as lathes. Apart from the Pallikaranai unit, it has a unit in Hosur where more than 40 workers are working.

Since the previous wage agreement between the management and workers of GMT expired in May 2023, the union has been holding continuous negotiations with the management at the Labour Commissioner’s office for a new agreement. However, the management has resorted to delaying tactics to avoid signing a new agreement. Workers went on strike in November 2023 to protest against the management’s adamant attitude. The Labour Commissioner, working on behalf of the management, threatened the workers that going on a strike when negotiations are going on was illegal. He also promised to ensure that the workers would get salary hike of Rs. 10,000 for three years duration, if they withdraw the strike. Based on the assurance of the Labour Commissioner, workers withdrew the strike.

When workers resumed work, the management refused to hold negotiations. The Labour department did nothing to resolve the stalemate. In this situation, the GMT workers were forced to go on an indefinite strike from March 22, 2024.

The GMT management has terminated 126 of the striking workers from the company. Undaunted by this attack, the workers are intensifying their strike with determination.

Workers Unity Movement (WUM) fully supports the just strike of the GMT workers. The Workers Unity Movement demands that the management of GMT immediately accept the demands of the workers, implement them effective from May 2023 and reinstate all the workers who were illegally terminated.

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