Electronics and electrical sector trade union leaders came together in Pune, India, on 7-8 October to discuss global trends and challenges in the industry, strategies to strengthen organizing, build union power and fight precarious work, and to develop a network of electronic unions in India.
The 14 trade unionists came from six companies: GE, Siemens, Ever Electronics, LEONI Wiring, ELANTAS Beck and NCR. They reported that employers in the sector rapidly replace permanent workers with agency, contract and outsourced workers who are challenging to organize, and resolved to intensify their organizing and fight against precarious work.
They discussed the challenge of Industry 4.0 to workers and the union movement. Unions emphasized the importance of building union power, developing trade union networks and engaging with government and employer associations to face the challenges.
The unions produced a work plan to fight against precarious work and to strengthen their organizing and collective bargaining, and committed to building a strong union network of by proposing a regional and national structure.
Apoorva Kaiwar, South Asia regional secretary, said:
“This is the first meeting of electronics and electrical unions in India. This is an important sector for us, and we will need to build IndustriALL’s influence in the sector.”
Kan Matsuzaki, IndustriALL director for ICT, Electrical and Electronics said:
“Workers in this rapidly growing sector in India face a double challenge: an increase in precarious work, and changes to the production process brought about by Industry 4.0.
“These issues cannot be addressed in isolation. We need to build a strong network, and this meeting is a good first step.”