By BJ Bjornson
Seems to me that I�ve read about this kind of thing happening in North America in decades past, or at least the precursor of what made this a story, a plant manager calling in the police to beat and kill a union leader. The counterattack doesn�t seem to be quite as common.
Workers at the Regency Ceramics factory in the India raided the home of their boss, and beat him senseless with led pipes after a wage dispute turned ugly.
The workers were enraged enough to kill president K. C. Chandrashekhar after their union leader, M. Murali Mohan, was killed by baton-wielding riot police on Thursday. The labor violence occurred in Yanam, a small city in Andra Pradesh state on India�s east coast.Police were called to the factory by management to quell a labor dispute. The workers had been calling for higher pay and reinstatement of previously laid off workers since October. Murali was fired a few hours later. The next morning, at 06:00 on Friday, Murali went to the factory along with some workers and tried to obstruct the morning shift, local media reported. Long batons, known as lathis in India, were used by police who charged the workers, injuring at least 20 of them, including Murali. He died on the way to hospital, according to The Times of India. Hundreds of workers gathered outside the police station and demanded that officers be charged with homicide.
I didn�t bother commenting on the recent NYT article on conditions at Apple�s supplier factories in China a couple of days ago since that story was more than well-covered already, but it does an excellent job of showing the costs of pushing the costs of manufacturing ever downward.
Per the Forbes story above, India is the poorest of the BRIC countries and its factory workers are paid the least, so maybe it isn�t too much of a surprise that disputes between management and labour are far nastier there than elsewhere, but I do wonder sometimes if the continued �flattening� of wages worldwide might bring such scenes back to these shores one day.