Dr. Reddy's strike brings police, tear gas

Dr. Reddy's says API production has been unaffected by a contract workers' strike in India over the past 80 days. But the action turned ugly on Friday when striking contractors were joined by those from other businesses within the industrial development where the plant is located.

The 650-strong strikers began blocking employees from entering the manufacturing facility, located some 375 miles east of Hyderabad in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, reports India's Business Standard. Baton-carrying police charged the mob in hopes of dispersing it but eventually resorted to tear gas.

A union official is quoted in the report saying that Dr. Reddy's pays contractors 5,000 rupees [about $100] per month. The union wants a minimum of 12,000 [$245] per month.

"We will intensify the agitation to achieve our demands," the official said, in the story.

The action began in August, with about 700 strikers.

Drugmakers don't have to cope with strikes too often, although they've faced such actions worldwide. Among more recent instances is an employee strike at Bayer's ($BAY) Berkeley, CA, facility, orchestrated by the local International Longshore & Warehouse Union. The union, which represents about 500 Bayer workers, wanted to deter management from outsourcing jobs to the drugmaker's homeland, Germany, as it had done with a nearby facility.

And in Romainville, France, Sanofi ($SNY) plans to close an API manufacturing plant led to an employee blockade organized by the General Confederation of Labour unions.

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