Sun Pharma medical representatives to go on strike

Around 500 medical representatives, who were earlier employed with Ranbaxy and now in Sun Pharmaceutical, are planning a pan-India strike on September 26, to protest the non-payment of salaries and other issues such as “arbitrary transfers”.

In April 2014, Sun Pharma announced a $3.2-billion deal to acquire Ranbaxy, and the transaction was concluded last year. The employees have held several agitations across cities against the Sun Pharma management over the past few months. Many striking employees with whom Business Standard spoke, said for the past three months, some 500 medical representatives havn’t been paid salaries and travel expenses. The strike is also against Sun Pharmaceutical’s decision to have a uniform structure for paid leave for employees. “As part of the merger between the companies, service rules for the Ranbaxy employees should not have been changed by Sun’s management,” a medical representative said.

In an e-mail response to this newspaper’s query on employees’ agitation, Sun Pharma said that the harmonisation process has been completed. The company did not wish to comment on the issue of compensation to the employees as the matter is sub judice. The matter will now be heard at the Bombay High Court as Sun Pharma challenged the order of the Labour Court of Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, the issue has even reached the Indian Medical Association, which has written to the founder and Managing Director of Sun Pharmaceuticals Dilip Shanghvi, stating service conditions for the erstwhile Ranbaxy medical representatives should be made more suitable. The letter, which has been reviewed by Business Standard, addresses the issue of arbitrary transfer of Ranbaxy medical representatives to other centres as well.

“How will a person who knows only Tamil be able to work in Assam without knowing the local language”, IMA has asked referring to employees’ concerns. In fact, at least 300 medical representatives are learnt to have resigned from the company due to such transfers.

One year after the integration process, the provident fund account is yet to be transferred from the Ranbaxy Charitable Trust, making it difficult for employees to withdraw their PF after leaving the organisation, sources said. Around 4000 employees became part of Sun Pharmaceutical after the integration.

This article originally appeared in the Business Standard on September 12, 2016.

Read the article Sun Pharma medical representatives to go on strike in the original context.

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