Strikers want Dr. Reddy promise of regular work

Dr. Reddy's, still embroiled in a labor dispute with contractors at its bulk drugs manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh, has asked local authorities to step in. The request follows what appeared to be a wage agreement struck between the parties last week, some three months after the strike began.

Reuters reports that the labor contractor, the workers and the company agreed to a wage hike to 230 rupees ($5.14 per day) for the next two years, up from 213 rupees ($4.21). As we reported earlier this month, a union official said Dr. Reddy's pays contractors about $100 per month. The union seeks a minimum of $245.

The agreement, made earlier this month, contained a no-strike provision during the two-year period. The deal was brokered by the state labor department.

The strikers, however, want assurance of regularized work in addition to the raise. According to The Times of India, hundreds of them tried to prevent Dr. Reddy's employees from entering the plant on Wednesday, protesting the drugmaker's refusal to meet the demand.

The strikers claim that the company had promised regularization. Dr. Reddy's says in the Reuters report, however, that it "respects the terms of the agreement and is fully committed to implementing it." The drugmaker has asked authorities to help get the strikers back to work, reports Dow Jones.

- see the Reuters report
- see The Times of India article
- here's the Dow Jones story
- and here's more