People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Month Long Relay Strike by Medical Representatives
ALL the major central trade union organisations like the AITUC, BMS, CITU, HMS, INTUC, AICCTU, TUCC, UTUC and UTUC-LS have welcomed the decision of the sales promotion employees of the country to go on a month-long relay strike from April 9 to May 8, 2002. The strike is to take place at the call of the belonging to the Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives Associations of India (FMRAI). It is against the policy of the drug companies, mostly the multinationals, to recruit non-bargaining and non-unionised categories of employees such as sales officers and appoint franchisees with an intention to deprive the employees of their legal rights.
Some of the 27-point charter of demands of the striking employees are as below:
1) Stop to hostile and repressive policies; stop to dismissals and transfers and other forms of victimisation and harassment on sales grounds, while ignoring the economic recession, lack of industrial growth, the managements failures and market failures.
2) Fixation and enforcement of minimum wages, ensuring proper working facilities and adherence to labour laws.
3) Holding industry-wise discussions with the industry associations, to stop unfair labour practices and unethnical means of selling by various managements, leading to black-marketing of medicines, etc.
The demands to be pressed by the strike also include people-oriented demands such as no change in Indias Patent Act 1970, reduction in drug prices, availability of essential and life-saving drugs, and saving the public sector in the interests of the countrys people.
The said central trade union organisations have extended full support to the demands and the relay strike programme of the medical and sales representatives. They have also asked the workers of other categories to stage, irrespective of their affiliations, to stage solidarity actions throughout the country. (INN)