Aurobindo Is Accused Of Preventing Workers From Unionizing

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For the second time in recent months, has found itself at odds with some of its employees. The latest spat involves allegations that the Indian drugmaker is forming a union and transferring some employees who are involved in the effort. As a result, the Joint Commissioner of Labor has issued a show cause order, The Hindu writes.

The move comes after employees sought to register the Aurobindo Pharma Employees Union with help from the Indian Federation of Trade Unions. But a complaint was filed alleging four employees were transferred for attempting to unionize and one was kidnapped, a charge that the drugmaker denied, according to the paper.

“Some outside elements are trying to create unrest by instigating a section of employees,” an unnamed Aurobindo manager tells the paper, adding that the drugmaker is committed to following established labor practices. “There is no truth in the allegations.” One explanation given for the transfers is that Aurobindo is manufacturing bulk drugs from multiple locations.

As noted previously, Aurobindo found itself in a labor dispute this past spring after purportedly making a commitment to raise salaries for its workers, but delivered only a fraction of what had been expected. As a result, 2,000 employees – or about 90 percent of its staff – began a boycott. The Centre of Indian Trade Unions charged the drugmaker boosted transportation and canteen reimbursements, instead of revising salaries in line with increases in the prices of essential commodities.

We will now repeat some background: The dispute is yet another sign of the evolving Indian pharmaceutical industry. As domestic generic drugmakers widen their global influence and, consequently, ring more registers, they are likely to encounter an increasing number of such reactions by…Read more

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