February 6, 2013
Statement on All-India Day of Protest
Today, 5th February 2013, the great response to our appeal to all trade unions, workers, democratic organizations and progressive forces to hold an ALL-INDIA PROTEST DAY in solidarity with our struggle, against the continued exploitation, repression and injustice by the Maruti Suzuki company and Haryana Government, has further strengthened our resolve. 147 of our fellow workers are arrested and have not got bail for last 7 months, 66 more have non-bailable arrest warrants against them, 546 permanent and 1800 contract workers terminated from our jobs have not been reinstated, and we continue to face continued police repression, anti-worker administration and a state which has nakedly sided with the company-management. Even thus we are determined to carry forward our struggle to release all jailed workers, reinstate all terminated workers, impartial probe into the 18 July incident, implementation of labour laws and abolition of contract worker system.
Throughout these 6 months, our struggle has taken various forms like rallies, demonstrations across all districts of Haryana and in Delhi, mass hunger strikes and there is not one elected representative’s door that we have not knocked, though we have seen only empty promises. We also sought to foster solidarity with contract workers in the entire NCR industrial belt with a Auto Workers Convention, and have recently taken out a Justice Rally on cycles across all districts of Haryana which culminated in a mass demonstration of over 3000 people in Rohtak on 27th January 2013. But while the management has been exploitative, the state’s only response has been to intensify police crackdown, and frustrate the legal process.
On 24th January, Imaan khan, leading member of Provisional Working Committee, MSWU was arrested when we were addressing a Press Conference in Civil Lines, Gurgaon. Police and intelligence officials came through deception as press people and forcefully abducted him. He’s now been sent to thrown into jail with all cases like murder and arson, though he did not have any case against his name, either in the FIR or Chargesheet. The police have forcibly taken signature of jailed workers on blank pages and are adding names of workers according to their choice, as dictated by the company management, and daily repression is continuing.
In this scenario of company exploitation, injustice and state repression, the response of our Appeal to make 5th February an All-INDIA PROTEST DAY in unity with our struggle, make our resolve to struggle even stronger. Solidarity demonstrations were organized today in around in 15 states across the country by trade unions and democratic forces. Many of us participated in these demonstrations on behalf of our Maruti Suzuki Workers Union, and we have witnessed the might of unity among workers and with progressive forces across the country. Solidarity also poured in from the hundreds of gate meetings in factories across the country. Massive demonstrations were followed by deputations, memorandums and rallies to the local elected representatives and to Bhupinder Hooda, Chief Minister, Haryana.
Militant rallies, protest sit-ins, marches, demonstrations, hall meetings, press conferences were organized jointly and in support of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union struggle in Delhi (Jantar Mantar, Okhla and Mayapuri), Gujarat (Ahmedabad, Baroda), Maharashtra (Mumbai), West Bengal (Kolkata), Karnataka (Bangalore), Tamil Nadu (Chennai, Pondicherry, Hosur, Tiruchirapalli), Chhattisgarh (Raipur, Bhillai), Uttrakhand (Rudrapur, Haldwani, Haridwar, Ramnagar), Rajasthan (Jaipur), Punjab (Ludhiana, Barnala, Jagraon, Nawanshehar), Daman and Diu (Silvassa), Madhya Pradesh (Indore), Jharkhand (Ranchi), Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow, Bareilly), Bihar (Patna), and Haryana (Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Jind, Ambala) among others.
Thousands of workers and progressive people from at least around 250 trade unions: factory-based, independent and Central Unions; student and youth organisations, human rights organisations, women’s organisations, intellectuals and other progressive forces participated in the solidarity protest actions.
These include factory-based and independent and area-based trade union organisations (list not exhaustive) like:
GRSE Employees Union, Hindustan Motors Sangrami Shramik Karamchari Union, Hindustan Lever Permanent Mazdoor Union, Shramik Sangram Commitee, Pharpur Cooling Towers Mazdoor Sabha, CESC Theka Mazdoor Union, Bharat Battery Mazdoor Union, Baoria Cotton Mill Mazdoor Union, Kanoria Jute Mill Bachao Committee, TCPL SSKU, Khan Mazdoor Karmachari Union (IFTU), Sarbobharatiyo Mazdoor Manch (Prastuti Committee), All-Bengal Self-Representative Union, Sangrami Shramik Manch, Loomex Engineering Sangrami Mazdoor Union, Lalbanda Mazdoor Union (Samanoy Samiti); Bareilly Federation of Trade Unions; Gujarat Federation of Trade Unions, Gujarat Mazdoor Sabha; Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Textile Hosiery Kamgar Union, Karnataka Shramik Shakti;
Indian Airport Employees Union, Voltas Employees Union, All-India Bluestar Workers Federation, Sarbh Shramik Sangh, Trade Union Solidarity Committee; Moulder and Steel Workers Union, Technical Services Union; Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Samiti, Janadharit Engineering Mazdoor Union; SRFWU, TI Metal Workers Union, MHHWU, Zee Tech Workers Union, MTC Workers Union, SRI Workers Union, CRI Pump Workers Union, BHEL Workers Union Trichy, Kamas Vechra Workers Union, UNILEVER Ltd Workers Union Pondichery, Auto Drivers Union, PALA, New Democratic Labour Front; Anand Nichikawa Employees Union- Rudrapur, Parle Mazdoor Sangh, Brittania Mazdoor Sangh, Nesle Karamchari Union, LGB Workers Union;
Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra, Mazdoor Patrika, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, Mazdoor Ekta Kendra, MMM, Hero Honda Theka Mazdoor Union, NREGA Mazdoor Union, Haryana, and many other unions.
Central Trade Unions like IFTU, NTUI, TUCI, ICTU, AITUC, CITU, AIFTU(New), AICCTU, UTUC, etc. organized and participated in the solidarity actions across many states and promised further support in the coming days.
Student and Youth Organisations like Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union, Krantikari Naujawan Sabha, PDSF, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan, Disha Chatra Sangathan, Democratic Students Federation, Nauroj, Correspondence, AISA, The New Materialists, Democratic Youth Federation of India, Vidyarthi Yuvajan Sabha, Inqlabi Naujwan Vidyarthi Manch, RSYF, PLF, PSA, SOSD, besides individual students and intellectuals from many academic and research institutions across the country.
Mass democratic organisations, women’s organisations, Human Rights organisations and Progressive and radical groups and forces like Inqlabi Kender Punjab, Jan Mukti Sangharsh Vahini, Jan Pratirodh Sangharsh Manch, Janwadi Mazdoor Kisan Sabha, Sarvahara Jan Morcha, Janwadi Lok Manch, Samtamulak Mahila Sangathan, PUDR, PDFI, Radical Notes, Sanhati, Jan Sangharsh Manch, BKU, Lok Morcha Punjab, Lok Sangram Manch, Krantikari Lok Adhikar Sangathan, Uttarakhand Parivartan Party, and many others.
This program gives hope for unity and solidarity to emerge at an all-India level. We heartily thank all trade unions, democratic and progressive forces for having once again come forward in our unwavering support, as only a strong class unity can take our common struggles forward.
Our demands are:
1. Institute a high-level independent impartial probe into the incident of 18th July 2012 and into the role of the management in it.
2. Immediately release all arrested 147 workers.
3. Immediately release Imaan Khan who was arrested on 24th January 2012, and stop arrests and police harassment of workers and our families.
4. Immediately reinstate all terminated workers, including 546 permanent and around 1800 contract workers.
5. Stop the flouting of labour laws, and implement right to formation of Union in all auto companies in the region. Ensure registration of Union within 45 days of receipt of application for registration for Union by the concerned labour department.
6. Stop the illegal contract labour system in permanent nature of work in the industrial belt of Gurgaon-Manear-Dharuhera-Bawal-Faridabad etc, and take steps to completely eradicate contract labour system in 2013, and ensure permanent work for all contract workers.
Long Live the Class Unity of Toilers!
Provisional Working Committee
Maruti Suzuki Workers Union
Update : January 31
As you already know, our struggle for our legitimate rights has been going on for the past two years, but especially after 18th July, we face a very difficult situation with the entire corporate-government machinery out to colour us as criminals and refusing to listen to us. None of the 149 workers in Jail have got bail for the last more than 6 months, while 66 more workers have been slapped with non-bailable arrest warrants. There is no hearing to our demand of reinstating the 546 permanent and more than 1500 contract workers, who have been terminated from our jobs.
Throughout these 6 months, our struggle has taken various forms like rallies, demonstrations across all districts of Haryana and in Delhi, mass hunger strikes and there is not a elected representative’s door that we have not knocked. We also sought to foster solidarity with contract workers in the entire NCR industrial belt with a Auto Workers Convention. We have recently taken out a Justice Rally on cycles across all districts of Haryana which culminated in a mass demonstration of over 3000 people in Rohtak on 27th January 2013. But while the management has been exploitative, the state’s only response has been to intensify police crackdown, and frustrate the legal process.
On 24th January, Com. Imaan khan, leading member of Provisional Working Committee, MSWU (that is leading the struggle now, since the whole union body is in Gurgaon Central Jail) was also arrested when we were addressing a Press Conference in Civil Lines, Gurgaon. Police and intelligence officials came through deception as press people and forcefully abducted him. He’s now been sent to thrown into jail, though he did not have any case against his name, either in the FIR or Chargesheet. The police has forcibly taken signature of jailed workers on blank pages and are adding names of workers according to their choice, as dictated by the company management. Com. Imaan has been slapped with all the cases of 302, 307, 120(b) like other workers. Police repression has also been continuous on all active workers and our families.
In this critical situation we need support from other trade unions, progressive organizations and democratic forces across the country and beyond, since we believe that this is a common struggle of workers.
With struggling regards
Provisional Working Committee
Appeal from Maruti Suzuki Workers Union for observing 5th February as National Protest Day
As you are well aware, we workers in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Manesar, Gurgaon are waging a struggle against the exploitation and injustice heaped on us by the company-management, state administration and the government. Our only crime has been that we have dared to raise our voice for the demand of formation of Union and against the illegal practice of contract workers system.
Since 18th July 2012, after the unfortunate incident in the factory premises as part of a management-woven conspiracy, we workers have been continually facing the brunt of repression. The company-management has at once terminated the jobs of over 1500 contract workers along with 546 permanent workers. They have, with the help of the state administration, heaped fabricated cases ranging from arson to murder on 211 of our fellow workers, while 149 workers, including our entire Union leadership, continue to languish in Jail for the last 6 months. Keeping aside all legality, workers and our families have continuously faced brute police atrocities.
We have chosen the path of struggle against this repression and injustice. In the past 6 months, even when faced with various state administrative blockades and repression, our spirits are unfazed and our movement is raging on. One of the reasons that we are able to sustain this struggle is also the solidarity and support that we have continued to receive from various workers organisations-trade unions and pro-people forces. But to take the struggle forward, we require more support and solidarity from your side.
In this stage of the struggle, we have decided that on 5th February 2013, Tuesday, there be a all-India day of solidarity action, demonstrations in our support and on that day itself, a memorandum also be sent addressed to Chief Minister of Haryana. We not only hope but trust that we will get your full solidarity once again. Against the nexus of company-management and state power, the protest of our pro-justice and class unity shall reach the deaf ears of those in power.
With revolutionary greetings,
Imaan Khan, Ramnivas, Omprakash, Mahaveer, Yogesh, Katar Singh, Rajpal
Provisional working Committee
Maruti Suzuki Workers Union