Workers of the company, Stumpp, Schuele & Somappa Springs (SSSS) Pvt Ltd., picketed in front of the company located in central Bangalore, near Forum Mall for the 18th day on 18 March 2014. The management declared illegal Lock-out from 6th March pre-empting any strike action by regular employees in solidarity with contract workers’ grievances who were refused employment from 1st March 2014 because of undeclared Lockout by the company.
Workers protested against the illegal action of employing outside workforce and false complaints by the management. Police force was deployed in large numbers.
Stumpp, Schuele & Somappa (SSS) workers, mainly contract workers, are on the war path led by Com. S.Balan, Karnataka State President of AICCTU demanding regularisation, wage rise and reinstatement of a worker dismissed for trade union reasons. In spite of serving strike notice one month back, the workers patiently waited for a positive approach from the management in solving workers’ problems. But they were refused employment through an undeclared Lockout from March 1. Even the intervention of higher officials of the labour department of Karnataka did not yield any result as the management was adamant. On 1st March, workers demonstrated in front of the Labour department. The struggle is on and the strike has entered its sixth day as we go to press. The management is adamant in spite of the fact that contract workers are also part of the recognised union of regular employees which has entered into agreements with the company in the past. The management is unable to digest unionisation by contract employees and is adopting all possible illegal methods and spreading rumours to frustrate workers. Workers are determined to struggle to win over their demands and the struggle is on.
Stumpp, Schuele & Somappa (SSS) is the Best spring maker for automotive and other industries in India. But, it is the worst in terms of labour relations. Established in 1960, Stumpp, Schuele and Somappa was the first spring manufacturing unit in the sub continent. But, workers are being paid a pittance. More than 70 percent of highly skilled workforce in the company are cruelly exploited in the name of contract and training.
The struggle on 8th March received support of solidarity by various organisations including Jai Karnataka, Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (DSS), Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI-PFI), Dalit Panthers of India (DPI), PUCL, etc. The demonstrators were addressed by Com. Balan, State President of AICCTU, Shankar, All India Vice President of AICCTU, Appanna, State Secretary, Cliffton, Social Activist and High Court advocate, Narasimha Murthy, PUCL, Mohan, AICCTU DCM from BOSCH, Ravi Kumar, SSS Union General Secretary, Prakash, VP, among others. Suresh Rai of Jai Karnataka, Farooq of SDPI, and representatives of DSS, DPI also addressed the gathering.
The protest is still on.