I apologise for my pro-worker remarks: Oscar Fernandes

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New Delhi, Sep 24: Union Minister for Labour and Employment, Oscar Fernandes on Wednesday, Sep 24 called a press conference and apologised for his pro-worker remarks on the murder of Lalit Kishore Chaudhary, CEO of Graziano Transmissioni on Monday, Sep 22 in Greater Noida.

Sacked employees of the car-parts maker Graziano Transmissioni on Monday attacked Chief Executive Officer Lalit Kishore Chaudhary at the company's office in Greater Noida, when discussions over a long-running labour dispute turned violent.

Describing the killing of Chaudhury as a fallout of the 'simmering discontent among the workers,' Fernendes on Tuesday said this should serve as a warning for managements.

Appealing to the managements that the workers should be dealt with compassion, Fernendes told reporters here: "There are disparities in the wages of permanent employees, contract and temporary workers. The workers should not be pushed so hard that they resort to whatever that had happened in Greater Noida."

According to the Minister, the workforce was unable to express its simmering discontent over the management policies for the fear of losing jobs, leading to strained ties between them and the management.

The Italian company sources said they were shocked by the Minister's insensitivity and has demanded an apology.

The Minster's comments came under attack business groups and Industry body. Expressing shock over Fernendes' comments, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) president Rajeev Chandrasekhar too said: "I can't believe someone in the Government is condoning something like this."

"An innocent man has died. I am frankly flabbergasted. I am shocked. There is nothing in the world that can justify lynching of any person and no dispute can be settled by murdering an adversary," Chandrasekhar said.

Meanwhile, Infosys CEO Nandan Nilekani said whatever be the circumstances murder could not be condoned.


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