Monday, April 23, 2007

Union Leaders

Remember Mr Datta Samant of the 80's and early 90's? He was responsible for the closure of the textile(and many other!) industries in Bombay. I know it's bad to criticize the dead(this guy was shot dead somewhere around 1995), but we must face the reality that if Vapi, Baddi, Silvassa, Uttarachal etc have become industrial hubs today, a lot of the credit goes to our intrepid union leaders like him. Lets see how.

In the BEST strike in Mumbai recently, the city was paralyzed. People had to shell out large amounts of autos and taxis- which were in short supply that day. This strike was due to the issue of increasing the DA . Prima facie, this seems reasonable- who would deny inflation? The moot point is however that striking on an annual basis and thus holding the city to ransom is bad. After all, out of whose pockets will this DA hike come? The tax payers- who are only 3% of the population- will have to foot this one.

Besides, Mr Sharad Rao drives around in a AC luxury car-while pretending to espouse the cause of the workers. The fact remains that this man who has probably never worked a single day in his life had become a union leader merely on account of his rabble rousing ability. These leaders quote Gandhi to go on strike, but do not follow his other policy like satyagraha, simple living, dignity of labour etc.

Unions have become a stepping stone to political success- whether they be in colleges or factories. Consequentially, the main aim-collective bargaining- has been defeated. In this day of contract labour and temporary workers, the organized union component has been shrinking. I hope and pray that these unions go

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