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Organ of Federation of Medical And Sales Representatives Associations of India

Rs.3 Vol. XII No. 4 KOLKATA 1 DECEMBER 2012

60-A Charu Avenue Kolkata-700 033 Phone : (033)24242862 Fax : (033)24244943 E-mail :,

Biological E


Demanding re-issue of legally-amended appointment letters under SPE Act to all, for holding periodical grievance committee meetings for all; protesting against discrimination in service conditions despite tribunal awards; against victimizations including terminations, transfers, cuts in wages and expenses; against delayed confirmation etc; more than 300 Biological E field workers named as medical representatives, territory managers and probationer territory managers alike resorted to country-wide strike on 5 November and, despite cyclone and disruption of rail services, 150 of them could reach Hyderabad and sit in dharna and hunger strike in front of the head office of the Company on 5-6 November. CITUs Andhra Pradesh state president Sai Babu inaugurated the hunger strike and dharna. APMSRUs state council subcommittee staged demonstration and held gate meeting in support. FMRAIs secretary T. Kameswar Rao; working committee members the head office management of Biological E on 6 November. Jointly addressing the deputation, all India convener pressed for the demands and senior general manager- HR assured to resolve the issues bilaterally and to call negotiating committee meeting shortly. Despite Andhra Pradesh governments references and industrial tribunals awards in favour of and covering all categories of sales promotion employees on the basis of FMRAIs charters of demands for every 3-years duration; management, instead of implementing the awards, has been trying to create legal hurdles to cause delay in awarding justice which caused all round resentments among the field workers forcing them to agitate. Biological E. field workers all India convention was also held at Chennupati Bhavan in Hyderabad. Discussion was held on a note, placed by all India convener Pranab Ray. The convention adopted a resolution on future course of action.

T. Kameswar Rao addressing Biological E. field workers in front of Head Office

P. N. Subramanian and Mukund Kulkarni; APMSRU leaders K. Sunil Kumar, I Raju Bhatt, A Nageshwar Rao and others addressed the gate meetings. Led by all India and zonal conveners, differentlydesignated-field-workers a 55members mass deputation met Fatehpur, Pithoragarh, Mathura, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur, Meerut, Bulandsahar, Raibarily, Allahabad, Bahraich, Roorkee, Hardwar, Faizabad, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Etawah, Deoria, Balrampur, Etah, Firozabad and Mirzapur units. Rallies were brought out in Ghaziabad, Meerut, Chandpur, Kashipur, Rampur, Chandausi, Modinagar and Bulandshaher units of UPMSRA. A massive demonstration was held in front of Alembics establishment at Lucknow which was addressed by Rahul Mishra, D D Chatterjee and Vimesh Mishra. A memorandum was submitted to Alembic management. Earlier, unit-wise signature campaign was conducted throughout the states.

Against victimization of their state president R K Srivastava by Alembic management, members of Uttar Pradesh Uttarakhand Medical and Sales Representatives Association (UPMSRA) resor ted a days complete strike on 8 November. On this a resolution was adopted in the 15 th conference of

Strike Against Victimization of UPMSRA President

UPMSRA, held at Moradabad, condemning the management of Alembic, demanding withdrawal of his transfer order outside the state and calling upon the field workers to strike. Despite managements threats, Alembic field workers participation in the strike was overwhelming. On the day of strike,

An Appeal
FMRAI News requests its readers, subscribers, well-wishers and FMRAI members to send to Operational Office of FMRAI, Kolkata, in case any old photographs, video film or any other document related with field workers movement are in possession with them which may be utilized on the occasion of Golden Jubilee year Conference of FMRAI to be held at Kolkata during 4-7 February, 2013.

memoranda were submitted to the district administrations and the labour authorities by Varanasi, Mau, Ballia, Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Sultanpur, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Sitapur, Barabanki, Lakhimpur, Hardoi, Kanpur, Farrukhabad, Bareili, Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Robertsgunj, Jaunpur, Lucknow,

Stop Press

USV strike successful

Demanding grievance committee for all, regularization of jobs of franchisee field workers ,opposing victimizations and on others pending issues, ignoring management's clandestine propaganda, the reports of successful participation of USV field workers' in the country-wide strike, dharna / demonstrations before company's establishments and labour authorities during 28-29 November are pouring in FMRAI News desk. The details will be published in Januar y, 2013 issue of FMRAI News.

Rally at Shahjhanpur




l DECEMBER 2012 l


Brand vs Generic, Price Difference False

All Medicine Prices Rising
In a written reply to question no.194 in Rajya Sabha on 23 November, 2012, the Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Srikant Kumar Jena said, The prices of generic medicines sold in the open market are generally at par with the prices of the branded medicines. This exposes the campaign that the prices of generic medicines are lower in the market than the branded medicines. The prices of all medicines both branded and generics - are high and rising due to Central Governments policy of keeping all medicines outside price control, except 74 essential drugs, and collecting heavy taxes including MRP-based excise duty which means, more increase in drug prices by the pharma corporates, more tax collection by Central Government with more sufferings of ailing masses.

1.5 lakhs medical and sales representatives will resort to country-wide general strike on 4 December in pursuance of their 18-point demands to central government, state governments and to the employers. However, this general strike has an additional dimension of defending identity and right to work, and for reduction and costbased price control of all medicines. In the situation of ongoing world economic crisis, entering 6th year; market contraction in USA, Europe and other industrially developed countries; India being the eager recipient of FDI and becoming host of massive reentry of multinationals, in their new incarnation, including pharmaceutical and health sectors, necessitating their rapid market restructuring; events are unfolding for the sales promotion employees, especially of pharma sector, with increasing attack on their identity, as a legally recognized section of workers, and their legal right to work. These are being done under cover of massive misleading propaganda linking with corruption and high cost of medicines, from both of which the Government is attempting to exonerate itself and deflecting the charges for both on medical representatives and medical practitioners and preparing ground for enforcement of a patent regime for medicines of MNCs and market to determine medicines prices. In the phase of neo-liberal restructuring onslaughts on the sales promotion employees, beginning in 90s, FMRAIs three movements - policy-related, councilrelated and state-related with their inter-relationships and periodical agitations are converging to 4 December general strike as was decided in the road map of Bhopal GCM in February, 2012. Despite decision of tripartite meeting of 12 November, 2010 and repeated persuasion and follow ups; under influence of powerful lobby of drug companies, the central government is yet to constitute Tripartite Industrial Standing Committee for the Sales Promotion Employees with FMRAI in it. The central government is also reluctant to frame statutory working rules in SPE Act; to incorporate stronger punitive clause with imprisonment for violation of SPE Act; to enforce section 2(j)ii(b) of I.D. (Amendment) Act, 1982 declaring sales promotion as an industry, thereby, is joint responsibility etc. The inaction of the central government encouraged the employers of flagrant violations of all labour laws, conventions, agreements / settlements; and, further, to impose private working rules and exclusive responsibility of sales on field workers so as to keep them outside labour laws and make their jobs casual without any job security leading to large scale victimizations. The state governments are also reluctant to effectively enforce labour laws, applicable to the sales promotion employees, including appointment letters, leave facilities and rules, maintenance of registers etc. under SPE Act; grievance committee under I.D. Act; fixation and legal notification on 8-hours work; notification of May Day under N.I. Act; photo identity cards for all sales promotion employees etc. However, in the new phase of market restructuring with heavy dose of FDI, MNCs take-over and patent regime, the field workers of pharma industry have also come under new attacks. In this situation, 4 December strike assumes an additional dimension with focused attention on certain already raised demands which are linked with field workers identity, legal right to work and medicine pricing. Therefore, = Legally revised appointment letters in Form-A to all existing and new sales promotion employees, by whatever name called and without any exception; = Suspension of marketing till compliance of issuing of such legal appointment letters; = Recognition of FMRAIs state units photo identity cards or each state government to issue such cards, after verification of appointment letters in Form-A; and = Recognition of legal right to work with registered medical practitioners, hospitals and medical institutions only with these I-cards commensurate to Drugs & Cosmetics Act and Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act; assume rallying demands of this strike. As far as drug prices are concerned, the central government has decontrolled prices of all drugs, except 74 essential drugs, and collecting heavy central tax as MRPbased excise duty and virtually closing all public sector units resulting in spiraling price rise of medicines with super profits for pharma corporates a portion of which is used by them for grabbing market through bribing. It is also necessary to expose the misleading propaganda on drug pricing by pursuing forcefully the demands= To bring back all drugs under cost-based price control; = To bring 348 medicines in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) in the List of Essential Drugs under DPCO with present 100% mark up cap; = To revert to cost-based excise duty of all medicines; and = No tax on essential drugs.

Jan Aushadhi Drug Stores

To make available generic medicines at the affordable prices to all?
In the same reply on 23 November in Rajya Sabha, the minister said that there was, however, difference in the prices of generic medicines sold through Jan Aushadhi Drug Stores and those medicines sold in the market. In this regard he said, The Jan Aushadhi Campaign was launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals with the main objective to make available generic medicines at the affordable prices to all. In so far as supply of generic medicines is concerned, presently all the five Central Pharma Public Sector Undetakings (CPSUs) namely IDPL, BCPL, RDPL, KAPL & HAL are manufacturing and supplying generic medicines for the sale at the Jan Aushadhi Stores. Wherever Jan Aushadhi Stores have

On Price Control of Essential Medicines

been opened, the concerned State Governments are issuing instructions/ guidances to their Doctors in the Government Hospitals to prescribe generic medicines. Similar instructions are also reported to have been issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (Central) to the Doctors to prescribe medicines in generic names. Can massive infusion of FDI, MNCs large scale re-entry and policy of market-todetermine drug prices go hand in hand with Jan Aushadhi Drug Stores with low priced generics, supplied by now-virtually-closed public sector drug companies and make available medicines at the affordable prices to all?

Replying to another question no.197 on pricing system of essential medicines in Rajya Sabha on 23 November, the Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers informed the House that No final decision has yet been taken by the Government and to the question as to whether Supreme Court had ordered the Centre not to alter the present pricing structure of essential drugs, the minister replied, No such final order has been given by the Honble Supreme Court. Taking plea of the pricing policy of essential medicines not being notified, the Government sought more time and the Supreme Court deferred the hearing, fixed for 27 November, till 12 December. It is, however, reported that ignoring Supreme Courts ruling of October 3, the Government already decided on 22 November to continue with market-driven drug pricing policy. Earlier also, in tune with drug corporates demand, the Group of Ministers - GoM - proposed fixation of pricing formula of 348 essential medicines on the basis of the weighted average price (WAP) of brands having more than 1% market share. Supreme Court made critical observation on GoMs proposal, asked not to change present cost-based price mechanism and set a deadline of November 27 for the government

to finalise the policy. Drug prices in DPCO of 1979, 1987 and 1995 are hitherto being calculated on cost-based formula. OPPI, the organisation of MNC drug companies in India, hailed the governments decision saying directionally prudent for the country. Earlier, the United States - India Business Council (USIBC), a premier advocacy organisation comprising of top American and Indian companies, in a letter to Chidambaram on 27 September, had appreciated the decision of the GoM. With this new pricing policy, the common ailing people of the country would be subjected to further exploitation by Government-drug lobby combine. Field workers would resort to a days country-wide strike on 4 December inter alia demanding cost-based price control of all medicines as per DPCO, 1979 formula; complete removal of all taxes on essential medicines and reverting to cost-based excise duty on all other medicines; to ensure availability of all life saving and essential drugs by public sector and by compulsory manufacturing. FMRAI made several representations to the Government, to Lok Sabha Committee on Petitions and resorted to public campaign and agitation including country-wide strikes.

Onward to 4 December countrywide general strike!

Over 100 activists of UPMSRAs Kanpur unit attending field workers 4 December strike convention on 17 November at Ram Asre Memorial Centre addressed by CITUs central leader and former general secretary of FMRAI J S Majumdar.

Strike Preparation Convention



Protesting against transfer of west zone convener and termination of APMSRU convener without following rules of natural justice, Geno field workers will resort to a country-wide strike and day long dharna in front of companys establishments on 17 December. Strained industrial relation between the company and FMRAI developed on two counts. The management is taking punitive actions against field workers for non fulfillment of monthly sales target, holding field workers exclusive responsible. Further, they are being victimized on the basis on non-fulfillment of consultative /grievance committees sign minutes / memorandum of understanding on day to day work input. Despite repeated attempts of FMRAI, the management has been resorting to unilateral illegal actions like stop work, withholding of wages; headquarter confinement, confiscating work diary and now resorting to terminations and transfers. All the actions of the management are against general policy position of FMRAI. An emergent all India Geno council committee meeting was held on 26 November at Kolkata which decided to go for strike.

Geno Field Workers to Strike


from page-4


Uttar Pradesh-Uttarakhand
As FMRAIs golden jubilee flag reached Lucknow on 14 October, enthusiastic members of UPMSRA carried the flag to unions state centre through a motor cycle rally from Aminabad medicine market. On the day, after flag hoisting ceremony, a meeting was organized which was participated by 150 members and addressed by Subodh Awasthi, Rakesh Pandey, D D Chatterjee, U D Upadhyay and UPMSRAs general secretary Hemant Singh. Thereafter, golden jubilee flag moved to different parts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and more than 1000 members participated in general body meetings and programmes. In all the places, special general body meetings were held, two wheeler rallies were brought out, leaders narrated the history of FMRAI. Members took pledge to further carry forward the flag of FMRAI and to reach the membership objective to mark golden jubilee years conference a grand success. At Moradabad, unit president Nagesh Pathak hoisted the flag. Sanjay Narang addressed a special general body meeting. Flag hoisting and general body meetings were held at Chandpur, Bijnor and Dhampur. At Sitapur, a two wheeler rally carried the flag from roadways bus station to Khatri dharamshala. At Jaunpur, members assembled at hotel River View where following the flag hoisting ceremony and special meeting took place followed by dinner. Beside unions leadership, leaders from different mass organizations also addressed the gathering. Two wheeler rally was organized at Sultanpur with golden jubilee flag. Similar programmes were conducted at Pratapgarh and at Allahabad. At Robertsganj, a colourful rally, decorated with flags and banners, was brought out. At Mirzapur, members took out a colourful rally which was culminated in a public meeting in front of the collectorate office. Beside unions leadership, CPI(M)s leader Ramkrishna and CITUs leader Brij Lal also addressed in Balia. At Mau, former CPI(M) district secretary Virendra and former MLA of CPI Imtiyaz addressed the meeting. Similar programme was conducted at Azamgarh. At Ghazipur, with great pomp and show, flag was hoisted followed by a special meeting. Chief Medical Officer of Ghazipur sent his greetings. Leaders of CPI(M) Jafar, CITUs Shivnath, DTUCCs Ambica Dubey, U P Samyukt Parishads D N Singh, IMAs Dr. R B Rai and Dr. J Dubey and others addressed. A cultural programme was also organized on the occasion. Ghazipur town was decorated with flags and banners. At Hardoi, a special meeting was organized. At Barbanki, rally was brought out from bus station to units office, hoisted the flag and a special meeting was organized. FMRAIs golden jubilee flag rally was also organized at Raibareily, Saharanpur, Sahmli, Baraut and Muzaffarnagar. At Varanasi, amidst festive mood, district labour commissioner A K Rai, IMAs president Dr. Sanjay Rai and CITU leader Devasish addressed the meeting. Thereafter, FMRAIs flag entered in eastern India. (Photo, page 4)

Demanding negotiation on FMRAIs charter of demands pending since July, 2012, for holding grievance committee meeting to resolve day to day field related problems and grievances and protesting against victimizations, BSN fieldworkers will be resorting to a days strike on 20 December. On repeated persuasion, management informed the committee to submit the endorsement by BSN field workers on charter of demands first, as a pre-condition, and then only negotiation would commence which the Committee refused. The logic of the management was that the benefits of the settlement would be extended to those only who had submitted endorsement. Endorsement of charter of demands and acceptance of settlement signed under Section 18(1) and 2(p) of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 have no inter-relationship and, hence the illegal proposition of the management was rightly opposed by the Committee. Further, management is not holding grievance committee meeting since 2010 and, as a result, pending issues remained unresolved and are pilling up every day. The management resorted to termination of a woman fieldworker at Chandigarh and the joint convenor of BSN council of TNMSRA was illegally transferred on sales grounds in violation of the laws of the land. Managements adamancy in not resolving the issues compelled the fieldworkers to choose agitational path. Trade union right of BSN field workers was established through the first settlement in 1991 with the then Beiersdorf management, signed 3 more settlements with them and 2 more settlements with BSN - a joint venture of Beiersdorf and Smith & Nephew.

20 December BSN Field Wor kers to Strike

l Working Committee Meeting of FMRAI
Date : 4 -5 January, 2013 Venue : Kolkata


Comrade Partha Tarafdar

Comrade Partha Tarafdar, a member of WBMSRU, passed away on 25 October at his residence at Sheoraphuly, Hooghly. He was 56. He left behind his 76 years old mother, wife and a son. Large number of members of WBMSRU participated in the funeral procession on the next day. Comrade Partha Tarafdar was working as a medical representative in Hindustan Antibiotic Limited at Kolkata from where he was transferred and then terminated. The legal case of Partha and others is pending in Central tribunal. Earlier, he contributed as secretary and president of Hooghly district unit and as a state committee member of WBMSRU. Hooghly district committee organized a condolence meeting on 11 November at Serampore, attended by large number of WBMSRU members and members of fraternal organizations. FMRAI mourns the death of Comrade Partha Tarafdar and coveys heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family.

l Meeting of All India CFL Council; and l All India Core Committee of Abbott Platform
Date : 6 January, 2013 Venue : FMRAI Office, Kolkata For other details follow seperate circular

WBMSRUs par ticipation in CITUs state Conference

General Secretary FMRAI

from page-4

Inauguration of Unit Offices

Seen, Rabin Deb and others
WBMSRUs Howrah district committee organized health camp in CITUs West Bengal state conference, held during 8-10 November at Jyoti Basu Nagar, Howrah. The medical camp was in the name of Capt. Laxmi Sehgal and was operational round the clock. Around 450 delegates were given free medicines from the camp. The conference adopted a resolution supporting FMRAIs 4 December country-wide general strike. On the concluding day, WBMSRUs Howrah unit members participated in the open session which was addressed by former chief minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. From WBMSRU, 10 delegates including its president and general secretary attended the conference. Both president and general secretary were elected in the working committee. On 4 November, CITUs Maharashtra state secretary Dr. D L Karad inaugurated the new office of Jalgaon unit of MSMRA in presence of CITU leader Vijay Pawar, leader of Nasik Workers Union Sitaram Thombre, secretary of Maharashtra State chemists and druggists associations Jalgaon unit Anil Zawar, FMRAI leaders Salim Patel and Dipak Papdeja and other leaders and members of MSMRA. FMRAIs vice president and MSMRA general secretary D M Deshpande presided the meeting. Soon after the function, the secretariat meeting of MSMRA was held in the new office where Dr. Karad was present and addressed. (Photo, page 4)

Comrade Animesh Priya

Comrade Animesh Priya, a field worker working for Zuventus Pharmaceuticals and a member of Munger unit of BSSRU died in a road accident on 8 November while returning from Patna after attending companys conference. He left behind his wife, parents and brothers. FMRAI deeply mourns the untimely death of Comrade Animesh Priya and expresses its deep condolence to the bereaved family. 3


Registration No. WBENG/2001/6430


Postal Registration No. KOL RMS/106/2010-2012


32nd State Conference of OSRU


Punjab - Chandigarh
Around 700 members from Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Jalandhar, Pathankot , Amritsar and Moga units of PCMSRU attended FMRAIs golden jubilee flag march during 24 September to 13 October.

267 delegates including one woman delegate from 17 district units of Odisha Sales Representatives Union (OSRU) participated in its 32 nd state conference, held at Comrade Lakshmi Sehgal auditorium, Bhubaneswar during 10-11 November. While inaugurating the conference, Janardan Pati, vice president of CITU congratulated the members of OSRU for their pivotal role in spearheading relentless struggle against spiraling drug prices, pharma corporate corruptions led by the multinational drug companies and for carrying movement on medicine related peoples demands besides field workers own demands along with CITU and other trade unions and mass organizations. The chairman of the reception committee and CITUs state

president Lambodar Nayak also addressed on the occasion and appealed to make the two days nationwide strike on 20 and 21 Februar y, 2013 a landmark success. Others who greeted include CITUs state treasure Dushmanta Dash. 37 delegates participated in the discussion on the reports placed by Subhankar Das, general secretary and treasurer, S K Jena, made valuable contributions. Both the reports then adopted unanimously. FMRAIs joint general secretary A K Banerjee elaborated the background of the forthcoming countrywide strike on 4 December. He called upon the participants to strengthen the council and related movements, state related movements and to integrate and advance council subcommittee functioning in the

state unifying and consolidating the ranks to face newer challenges. The conference adopted resolutions for making success of 4 December FMRAIs countrywide general strike of the field workers and the nation-wide two days general strike of the workers and employees on 2021 February, 2013 at the call of 11 central trade unions and industrial federations. The Conference unanimously elected 31 state committee members including 14 office bearers with P K Sarkar as president, Subhankar Das as general secretary and S K Jena as treasurer. The conference also elected 151 general council members. A presidium consisting of Nikhil Chatterjee, P K Sarkar, B. N. Ojha and Bijay Krushna Das conducted the conference.

R P Singh addressing general body meeting at Pathankot At Chandigarh, golden jubilee flag was hoisted by unit president S D Agnihotri. CITUs state general secretary Raghunath Singh, its state president Vijay Misra and PCMSRUs general secretary Shiv Awasthy addressed the meeting. At Ludhiana, PCMSRUs state vice president B S Sahi received and hoisted the flag. R P Singh, secretary, FMRAI addressed the meeting. Bhatinda units meeting was held at Teacher Home and the flag was hoisted by Balwinder Tagore. At Jalandhar, unit president R Sahani hoisted the flag and the meeting was held at Guru Nanak library which was addressed by PCMSRUs state president Vineet Sharma. At Pathankot, a rally was taken out at main Bazar and the flag was hoisted at Gandhi chowk by units president R S Jasrotia. A Blood donation camp was organized to mark the occasion where 34 members donated the blood. The members of Amritsar unit assembled at Jalainawala Bagh and after paying tribute to the martyrs the meeting was held, addressed by Gurpreet Singh. At Moga, Preet Dev Sodhi hoisted the flag at unit office and PCMSRUs state working committee member H S Ranu addressed the meeting. In all meetings, the speakers narrated the history of FMRAIs glorious struggle. The members of PCMSRU took pledge to reach the membership objective.

Jammu and Kashmir

Inauguration of Unit Offices

Flag March at Anantanag. ( news in Nov.'12, FMRAI News)

Uttar Pradesh-Uttarakhand


Inaugurating by C. Prabakar Devadoss (left) & Dr. D. L. Karad (right) C..Prabakar devadoss occasion include unit inaugurated a new office of president B Ramkumar, R Dindigul unit on 10 November. K. Balamurugan, unit secretary and In a ceremonious function Balabharathi, the local MLA and R. Murugan, units joint secretary. and in presence of 52 members CITUs Dindigul district secretary Unit treasurer, R. Balasubramani alonwith their families and some K. R. Ganesan gave special gave vote of thanks. Mementos of old members, TNMSRA speech. Others who spoke on the were given to special speakers. general secretary
See page-3

At Barabanki

See News, page-3

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