India: Workers of Bhagwati Products and Zydus Wellness protest illegal retrenchment

Harsh Thakor

Countercurrents | January 08, 2023

Workers of Bhagwati Products based in Sidkul Pant Nagar and Zydus Wellness located in Sitarganj, Uttarakhand launched a rally and demonstrated at the district collectorate under the leadership of Shramik United Morcha Udham Singh Nagar with regard to resumption of work and other problems. On the conclusion of the rally, the workers of both the companies submitted a 6-point collective memorandum to SDM Rudrapur in the absence of the District Magistrate.

Apart from this, on December 27, the workers of Micromax celebrated black day by tying black ribbon outside the labour office Rudrapur Udham Singh Nagar on completion of four years of struggle due to illegal retrenchment by the management.

Workers of Bhagwati Micromax and Sitarganj-based Zydus Company, under the banner of Shramik United Morcha, staged a rally projecting demands based on current industrial disputes undertaken in various companies of SIDCUL, including resumption of work.

Four years ago, Bhagwati Products had forcibly transferred or illegally retrenched workers in the pretext of lay-off and training. This sprouted the struggle of the workers which is carting on till today.

The laid off workers claim that in these four years the state inspite of having three Chief Ministers are still protesting  on the road. In their view the sheer apathy or ignorance of the government and the administration towards the workers, prompted the Shramik United Front to organise a black day and the rally.

It is notable that 351 workers of Bhagwati Products Limited (Micromax) Pantnagar are since December 27, 2018 combating illegal retrenchment, illegal layoff and illegal transfer etc. on the pretext of alleged training. Despite the legal victory, their jobs are not restored and workers are compelled to take to the streets when confronting battling severe economic crises.

Four years ago, the Bhagwati management unlawfully laid off 303 workers which was declared illegal by Industrial Tribunal Haldwani, then Hon’ble High Court Nainital. Still the workers were not reinstated. The matter is pending in the Supreme Court and the next hearing of the matter is to be held later.

Impressive to witness the resilience of the workers of Bhagwati products and Zydus Wellness in confronting the administration and the class consciousness in gauging the motives .Ideal illustration of how at the ground level even after legal consignment, workers jobs are not restored, and it s imperative for workers to take the battle to the streets.

Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist who has covered mass movements around India



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