The first 10 months of 2012 saw 23 strikes and lockouts happening in different parts of the state, affecting over 3,400 workers and resulting in loss of 30,800 man-days, states the Socio-Economic Review (2012-13) for Gujarat.
According to the review, which was presented during the ongoing Budget session of the Assembly, most of these strikes were in the textile sector and were largely about disputes surrounding wages.
Similarly, in 2011, 28 incidents of strikes and lockouts were reported over 12 months that affected almost 4,100 workers. This led to 35,800 man-days being lost during the year, states the review published by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of Gujarat.
“The labour issues faced by Gujarat is essentially due to a demand-supply gap. There is a paucity of labour in the six districts of the state which is seeing the maximum investments. The labour is costlier in these districts,” said Bhagyesh Soneji, chairperson of Gujarat council of ASSOCHAM.
These strikes, however, do not seem to be slowing the pace of industrialisation in the state. According to the provisional result of the Annual Survey of Industries 2011, the total number of factories in the state increased by 36% to 21,200 in 2010-11 from 15,500 in 2009-10. About 1.3 lakh new jobs were created by these factories in this period.
“This shows that the race of industrialisation has been very rapid in the state in the recent past... This industrialisation has also constituted to increasing the employment opportunities in the state,” the review added.