Condemn Maruti Suzuki’s police actions! Join in Solidarity with the struggling Workers!
This morning, 29th August, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, IMT Manesar (Plot 1, Phase 3A) terminated 11 workers and suspended 10 more, on flimsy and distorted (read: vengeful and punitive) grounds of ‘indiscipline’ and a supposed go-slow action in production by workers. The company has also imposed a ‘good conduct bond’ (read: humiliation ‘by law’), only after signing which, workers can enter the factory premises. Meanwhile around 500 policemen of Haryana and riot-police have occupied the factory since yesterday evening, with the excuse of ‘preventing violent actions’. This preemptive action totally exposes, again, whose police the state forces are. Accompanying and reinforcing the police, are ‘bouncers’ on the company’s employ, and some 8-10 tough-men who have been bought over by the company from the surrounding village being used to threaten the workers. Apart from the 21 permanent workers, terminated and suspended, everyday around 2-5 casual and contract workers have been terminated since the agreement on the 16th of June.
The production is at a halt, as workers have refused to bow down to the company’s dictates, and are standing united in struggle. Other workers in the industrial area are also expressing solidarity with the workers. Many Unions, independent and affiliated, have also come in support, and stand against the company’s draconian actions.
All the 11 terminated workers had been earlier reinstated after a prolonged battle with the company which included a 13-day strike (June 4th-16th) by all workers and unprecedented solidarity among workers and other Unions in the industrial area of Gurgaon-Manesar in Haryana. This strike action was in the context of the demand of the workers to form their own Union, the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU), and against exploitative working conditions and other legitimate workers’ rights. After this defeat of the company, many business honchos had pointed out that this reinstatement sets a bad example to the industry as other workers’ would start demanding their rights too.
The Haryana government, hand-in-glove with the powerful company’s “way of life”, rejected the demand of the workers Union on August 14th as a pre-independence day gift to workers, saying that the management-run Union, the MUKU is already in place (even though all the workers have resigned from it, saying it represents the company and not workers). After it becoming clear that the state is ready to do everything to help the company, said Shinzo Nakanishi, MD, MSIL, in a threatening tone, “change will come about gradually through education.” The company has been preparing for an attack since the agreement after the strike, and has mobilised the government, the labour department, the judiciary, the police, bouncers, corporate media, apart from its in-factory harassment techniques, to weed out ‘troublemakers’(read: workers who stand up for their rights).
We appeal to all to lend support and solidarity to the workers of Maruti Suzuki, who have a difficult struggle ahead and are determined to take it forward united.
As reported by Nayan from Gurgaon.
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