Recent months had seen a spate of protests and strikes in auto spare parts suppliers, such as Pricol, Asahi, Chowel, MSI and Dongsan in Tamil Nadu. The state government has responded to this with a notification granting ‘public utility’ status to manufacturers of auto components. This amendment to the rules of the Industrial Disputes (ID) Act, gives suppliers of auto spare parts the same status attributed to essential commodities and services likes water, electricity and public transport.
With this notification coming to effect, workers in these companies will not be able to call for a strike without a long notice period and will have to submit compulsorily to the conciliation process mandated by the ID Act, barring which the strikes will be considered illegal.
Auto manufacturers such as Hyundai, Renault Nissan, Ford and others were granted similar status even earlier. Factories in SEZs had also been granted such a status.
This regressive step must be condemned by all those who support the basic rights of workers to strike