Solidarity with the 400 contract workers



Around 30 people gathered today outside Alfa Lavals industrial complex at Gunnesbo, Lund, in solidarity with the 400 contract workers that are on strike since september 2013 in Pune, India. Due to the strike, all contract workers were dismissed and they sit in front of the factory gate.

When we arrived at the Alfa Lavals main building in Lund we had a discussion with Eva Schiller, PR Manager at Alfa Laval, and Thomas Thureson, chief financial officer, outside the reception and demanded that Alfa Laval accepted the claims of the workers. Thomas Thuresson refused to take responsibility due to the fact that they employ workers through a contractor and therefore can avoid guaranteeing the workers a decent wage. This is of course an attempt to avoid responsibility and exploit insecure and underpaid workers in India.

The struggle continues of course, let´s discuss how we can spread the struggle and do more actions around Sweden and the world together!

One of the worker that have been part of the strike said the following to us earlier this week:

The workers say they feel helpless and they are worn out, given that it is now almost 2 months that they sit in front of the factory gate with no response from the management. Also, the nights are getting colder in Pune and the city saw some heavy rainfalls in the last days. The workers are 24 hours in the tent in front of the factory, most of the time 100 or 200 at the same time. Anuj Kumar, 35, is one of them. He comes, like many workers in the factory, from rural areas around Pune and got a diploma as a wielder from one of the Indian Technological Institutes run by the state.

Kumar has two children and he has to pay rent from his small salary of around 100 Euros per month. He works for Alva Laval since 15 years. He points at the factory and he says ”This is not just a workplace for us, we feel this is our house, our home, because we spent so much time here”. Relatives help out with money, so the family can make a living without a wage during the strike. But this is a situation familiar to Kumar.

Whenever Alfa Laval does not need his work, he is delayed for some time, without prior notice. In this time, he has to find other jobs in other factories and then suddenly they call him again and need his workforce urgently. He says its absurd that sometimes permanent workers that earn triple of his income come to him and ask him for technical details of the work. He feels that his skills and his work experience are not recognized by the company, because he is still in this insecure position, after all these years.

The workers who earn just this small amount of money live in small houses with 1 or 2 rooms. In these districts where they can afford the rent, the water supply is irregular and power cuts of sometimes a few hours a day are normal.

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