Poor Conditions, Union Recognition And Nokia.
A Nokia supplier in India, BYD Electronics, has locked out workers after they struck for better conditions and union recognition, The Hindu covers it:
“The China-based BYD Electronics, which supplies mobile parts to Nokia and employs 2,000 workers has declared a lockout at its unit here.
Police said talks had already been held between representatives of employees and management last week on the workers demands, which include recognising the Centre of the Indian Trade Union as the factory union and also a three tier shift system, but to no avail.
A further round of talks are slated for November 8.
On October 28, a section of workers resorted to a sit-in strike, reportedly irked by the delay in finding a solution, which the management termed illegal, as they had not been given any notice about it.
In turn the management outsourced semi-skilled and skilled workers through a manpower agency to complete production targets.”
That’s the price of cheap phones, poor conditions and low wages, how similar to Foxconn.
Update 1: The International Metalworkers’ Federation has more:
“Protesting against job insecurity and low wages, the workers at BYD Electronics held a meeting on October 9 to form a union, with the help of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). In response management planned to lay-off around 100 workers. On October 21 workers conducted a 24-hour sit-in strike forcing management to talks at the Assistant Commissioner of Labour Office. Talks broke down when on October 27 the management insisted that they will only talk about directly employed workers and not discuss contract workers’ issues.
The level of intimidation and threats from management during this dispute resulted in one worker who handed out union leaflets attempting to commit suicide on October 27 by drinking isopropyl alcohol after intense questioning by management. In another case a contract worker was forced by the contract agency to sign a resignation letter, when he refused he was stripped off his uniform and identity card and forced to go out of the factory. The contract agencies also went to the workers’ houses and threatened the parents that if their son or daughter continues to engage in union activities, they will be dismissed and a police complaint will be launched against them.
BYD electronics is one of the major cell phone parts suppliers to Nokia India Private Limited and employs around 3000 workers, of which 850 workers are directly employed by the factory while remaining contract workers are employed through recruitment agencies. These contract workers are laid-off at will without any compensation. Everyday workers have to call their supervisors to find out whether to come to work or not. All workers have to work for 12 hours a day from 8am to 8pm without any compensation for overtime. A worker with four years experience receives the salary of only Rs 5,400 (US $121)”