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HUL unions threaten to intensify agitation over low wages

PTI 02 Nov 2014, 10:27:39 AM IST
PTI

Mumbai: Threatening to intensify their agitation over low wages and other grievances, the Hindustan Lever Employees Federation today asked the company to resolve the issues at the earliest or face more industrial unrest.

The threat comes a day after around 450 employees and their family members held a demonstration at the headquarters of the largest consumer goods-maker here. These employees belong to the two units at Dapada and Amli in the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

The federation is demanding higher wages and taking back those 13 employees who it claims sacked “illegally” by the company as well as bypassing major unions on employee-related issues.

The federation is the umbrella body of the HUL workers and claims representation of around 4,000 from across 18 facilities. HUL has a total 6,500 permanent workers at its 30 facilities across the country.

“We held a meeting of the federation here today and we have urged the management to resolve the issues regarding wages and illegal termination of our 13 members at the earliest or face intensified agitation,” Federation vice—president, Arvind Nair said this evening.

The company, however, denied that it is trampling on trade union rights and claimed that it has always operated within the ambit of the local legislations.

“Hindustan Unilever has always respected employees' rights to join or not to join a legally recognised trade union, or any other body representing their collective interests. We have always operated within the framework of local law,” the company said in a statement.

Nair further said the federation has mandated its local units to negotiate on the issues with the management and find an amicable solution, adding, “If the management fails to do so, we will decide our next course of action.”

Alleging that the management had signed the periodic wage settlement agreements with the “pocket unions,” Nair said the federation wants all employee-related issues should be discussed with the federation or its local union leaders.