ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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TAMIL NADU- Take-Over of a Strike

January 22, 1972 TAMIL NADU Take-Over of a Strike AFTER much promise of fireworks, Including a confrontation between the DMK government and the Centre, the strike of the 16,000 or so workers of the 22 companies of the Simpson group came to a quiet end on January 12. The agreement, arrived at following talks between leaders of four central trade union organisations and Chief Minister Karunanidhi and other state government ministers, appeared to be on the whole satisfactory from the point of view of the workers. Apart from securing assurances about the release of arrested workers and reinstatement of those dismissed or suspended by the management, the agreement went some way in meeting the two major demands of workers. First, while Kattur Gopal, the discredited DMK president of the Simpson workers' union whose ouster the workers had demanded, is to continue in office, the functions of the union have been virtually taken over by a five-man trade union committee consisting of representatives of DMK, AITUC, CITU, HMS and Congress(O). The committee has been charged with holding fresh elections to the union executive as early as possible. Second, the agreement arrived at by Kattur Gopal with the management, which had sparked off the workers' agitation, is to be reopened and its unsatisfactory provisions re-negotiated by the trade union committee, A striking aspect of the negotiations leading to the settlement was the absence from the scene of the management of the Simpson group which seemed to have completely made over its role to the state government. As a result, the negotiations were throughout between leaders of the central trade union organisations and the Chief Minister and other state ministers. Indeed, the chairman of the Simpson group is known to have sought, and received, the Chief Minister's approval before going to New Delhi in response to the central Labour Minister's invitation for talks. Here was the DMK government's paternalist approach to industrial disputes as its best

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