TN: TTK Pharma Company lays off 250 workers overnight, sparks protests

TTK Healthcare Limited has laid off 250 employees overnight in Tamil Nadu while selling its Human Pharma division to Bharat Serums and Vaccines (BSV) Ltd.

TTK Healthcare employees have called on management to withdraw the “unlawful” dismissal order and reinstate the dismissed workers.

Under the leadership of the Federation of Medical and Business Representatives of India (FMRAI), several protests, solidarity meetings and memorandum submissions were held against the move between May 31 and June 2 in Chennai, the headquarters of TTK Healthcare.

HUMAN PHARMA SOLD

TTK Healthcare Ltd., based in Chennai. sold its Human Pharma division to Mumbai-based multinational Bharat Serums and Vaccines (BSV) Ltd in March 2022.

The division manufactures pharmaceutical and healthcare products for respiratory diseases, infertility, orthopedics, cardiology and other conditions. Its revenue was around Rs 160 crore, or 25% of the company’s total revenue, for the financial year 2021.

Although it is a for-profit division, TTK Healthcare sold it in order to invest and grow its other core divisions. Besides healthcare, the company is involved in consumer products, personal products, food, medical devices, animal welfare products, publications, and more.

NO NOTICE GIVEN

The company employs more than 1,000 sales promotion agents across the country to promote its products to medical professionals and other medical professionals, 250 of whom were laid off overnight on May 9, 2022.

TTK management informed the workers that when drawing up the financial structure of the transfer agreement, BSV was unwilling to provide them with employment; as a result, they were fired.

“Employees who have been in service with the company for more than 25 years have also been terminated and subjected to great suffering,” reads the statement released by FMRAI.

Krishnan, one of the dismissed workers, said NewsClick, “We were sent an email notifying us of the withdrawal. No details were provided. This directly affects our livelihoods. Most of the workers belong to the middle age group; there is the grave question of what they would do next and how they would take care of their families.

TTK management allegedly did not notify the decision to lay off workers to the Tamil Nadu government or the employees; in accordance with the rules of labor law, they must be informed in advance.

Section 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947, said“No worker employed in any industry who has been in continuous service for at least one year under an employer shall be terminated by that employer until the worker has received one month’s written notice stating the reasons for termination.”

According Article 25FF, the same rule is renewed in the event of transfer of companies.

“DECEIVE THE WORKERS”

A bilateral wage agreement was signed between TTK management and workers on March 19, 2022. Two days later, on March 21, the Human Pharma division was sold to BSV.

FMRAI’s Sukumaran Sourirajan said, “TTK cited this as an example of a crisis, where a limited liability company has suffered losses and is unable to run the business, and sells its assets and liabilities, and closes its doors. ” He asked, “If it is in a loss, how do they sell the business for Rs 300 crores and continue to sell their products?”

“Also, they are doing new recruiting. They want to weed out older people who are union members. The bias is obvious and the intention is clear – they are misleading the workers,” Sourirajan added.

The FMRAI accused TTK management of flagrant violation of labor laws and reported it to the state labor department. The ministry is investigating the matter.

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