Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Workers in India sort their problems out - they kill the Boss!"

There have been occasions when having had a spot of bother with the old BT Broadband I’ve ended up talking to some rally lovely workers in a call centre in India. They are really polite and accommodating almost all the time. I still find it hard to get my head around the fact that I’m having a problem with my Internet connection here in East London and thousands of miles away across the other side of the world someone is sorting it out for me, has the world got smaller or what?”

So I was taken aback when by accident I came across this Indian newspaper report about A group of up to 400 workers in India who allegedly used iron rods and heavy factory equipment to beat an auto company executive to death last weekend. Joginder Choudhary, an assistant general manager at auto parts manufacturer Allied Nippon, was reportedly eating lunch when he was attacked by hundreds of his employees (400 people according to some accounts).

He and two other senior managers had to be hospitalized and some members of the HR staff were also attacked.

Workers according to reports "attacked and chased the human resources staff and those on the board of directors" in a suburb called Ghaziabad, which is near Dehli.
The workers say they were protesting at the layoffs of their former co-workers.
And that in any case, the executives were armed to the teeth with weapons to defend themselves. The management had guns on hand and fired into the air when the attack started.

From the Indian Express,

The stand-off began around 2:15 pm when the workers and the company management had a heated argument over the strike being planned by the workers on November 16.

[S]enior officers including Choudhary went to meet the workers. “After a heated discussion, the management tried to assert themselves and one of the officials fired in the air. This infuriated the workers, who then went on a rampage, manhandling the Officers,” said a senior police officer.

While Allied Nippon described the assault as "premeditated and unprovoked," police have sided with workers, saying that the officials who fired gun shots were the reason that employees, "already seething with anger after the labour commissioner's office declared their strike illegal," turned violent.

But Allied Nippon's chairman, Ravi Talwa, says that managers only fired shots in self-defense. In his statement in the Times of India, he said:
"We did not provoke anyone. The workers were already incensed as the labour commissioner's office had declared their strike call for Tuesday illegal. One of our managers had, indeed, fired two rounds with his licensed pistol but it was only meant to scare away the workers who were chasing him. The workers then stopped chasing him and went after other managers.''

So far, ten have been arrested.

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