BOSCH employees strike against outsourcing

Sep 30, 2011, 07:02 IST | Sheetal Sukhija
Fear of job cuts prompts 3,500 employees to go on tool-down strike to protest company's new policy of outsourcing work; parties meeting today to discuss issue
Around 3,500 employees of BOSCH have begun a tool-down strike in front of the company premises at Adugodi since Wednesday morning.

The protestors are agitating against the company's new policy of outsourcing work to contracted employees, which has spread fear of job cuts amongst existing employees.

While the company assures that outsourcing is a procedure followed in the organisation since 1992, the protesters argued that the company did not inform them about the same.

In fact, protestors further claim that the company had earlier brought up the matter before the Employee Union and the proposal was deemed 'discussed and dropped'. 

"We have been protesting since 6 am on Wednesday morning. Every four years, the company sits down with the Employee Union and both parties put forward demands and suggest changes.
Once these demands are agreed upon, a mutually beneficial settlement is formed.

Bone of contention
In 2010, such a settlement was made and this issue of outsourcing work from contract workers was discussed and dropped. Last Sunday, the company randomly picked out an entire line and moved the machinery outside.
"They had no answers to our questions. This is not justified and we would not stop protesting," said Raghavendra Rao, operator at the company and executive committee member of the Employees Union.
Meanwhile, in response BOSCH has presented a technical fault with the protest.

"The outsourcing initiative has not resulted in any job loss whatsoever and is a common practice in the company.

The MICO Employee's Association declared an illegal 'tool down' strike and suspended work without seven day notice as per labour law," said S M Hegde, commercial head, Bangalore Plant, Bosch Limited. 

Slogan shouting employee claimed that the company was trying to play with their lives and they eventually headed to the Labour Commissioner to solve the matter.

"The labour commissioner had initially called for a meeting on October 3, but regardless of that, the company lifted out the machinery. Employees who had been working on that project have been rendered jobless," Rao added.
To this, the company Reiterating that jobs have not been affected, Hegde said, "To reduce costs for competitive pricing of its products, the Bosch Bangalore Plant Management has decided to outsource certain non-core manufacturing and support processes.
This decision has been taken after monthly meetings with its labour union - MEA." The labour commissioner has now called for an urgent meeting today between both parties to discuss the issue.

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