Delhi – KNS Open Letter of Protest to SIAM, ACMA, CII in Auto Expo 2014

February 7, 2014

[In the opening day of the Auto Expo (components show) on 6th Fenruary 2014 in Pragati Maidan, Delhi, we registered our protest to give a reality check to the vulgar glitter of the Auto Industry exhibition of working class blood and toil.

Representatives from the CII, ACMA and SIAM tried to tell us the fake mantras of employment generation and progress they bring to the country through this so-called premier event of attracting foreign capital and showcasing the growing muscle of local manufacturers. We registered our protest against these blatant lies throughout the venue and circulated our open letter of protest. – KNS, Delhi]

autoexpo protest4disruption of your exhibitions and rotten dreams will be a ruleIts an explotitative jobless growth model Mr Manufacturer!

Stop selling your rotten dreams fattening on the brutalization of workers!

Behind the glitter of this Auto Expo 2014, the shining new models, the clinking of glasses, the promises of ‘development’ and ‘employment’, we know the immense naked brutality foisted on the people who make your wheels of so-called progress roll. We hear the truth behind this fake glitter in the pain of a dreamless universe. You thrive and fatten on the fear and insecurity imposed on the immense mass of workers who make your god of capital possible. In the name of ‘productivity’, more and more work ever more hours for less and less. In the name of the ‘development’, you thrive on brutal, naked exploitation of workers and of nature.

From the 8.5 million vehicles produced in 2004-05, workers toiled day and night in the sweat-shops of hell, to raise your production to 20.4 million in 2011-12. For their blood and sweat, and destruction of everyday lives, you employers have waged active class struggle against workers who have made this mind boggling productivity possible, denying them basic needs. We know that real wages of Auto Industry workers have fallen continuously in the last decade by your own admission:

chart1

We know the meaningless of the dreams you sell, the complete irrelevance of it for the mass of workers. You secure these false dreams through instilling fear and control on the shop-floor, through manipulation of the courts and bureaucracy and arm twisting of the government. And when this fear breaks down and those who feed your machines with their blood and sweat come asking for their rightful share and dignity, you habitually try to put them down by the use of the guns and jails of the police state. Terminations, foisting of criminal cases, beatings by private goondas, even killings, and legitimization of all of this from the government which you fund to do so. This is the real story behind the rotten dreams you sell.

Against this everyday exploitation, workers across the country have been resisting and asking for their rights, which you have cynically repressed. We remember the brutal police lathicharge under your active direction in June 2005 on Honda HSMI workers merely for asking for the right of Union formation. We know of workers fighting back in the 43 day strike in Rico Auto Gurgaon in Sept 2009 and one-day strike of the entire auto industry in Gurgaon-Manesar when the young 26 year old worker Ajit Yadav was killed by the private goons on your payroll. We demand justice for Ajit Yadav!

We know of how you arrogantly pursue the contract worker system, the decrease in real wages, the non-recognition of Union formation and Union demands, and open coercive tactics that forced unrest of workers in Sunbeam Auto Gurgaon in May 2009; Bosch Chassis Pune in July 2009; HMSI Manesar, August 2009; Pricol Coimbatore in Sept 2009; Bosch Bangalore in September 2011; Dunlop Ambattur, Tamil Nadu in Feb 2012; Denso IMT Manesar in 2012, Hyundai Chennai in April, Dec 2011-Jan 2012; Bajaj Chakan plant, Pune last year and countless others. These are all result of the everyday exploitation through squeeze over time and mind that you forcefully employ to up your profit margins over people.

We know that you sent goons to attack workers of Munjal Kiriu on 13th December 2013 only because the workers were peacefully sitting on dharna demanding an end to job insecurity. We know of the brutal force you used on peacefully striking workers of Mahindra factory in Chakan, Pune on 8-9 December 2013, and how you allowed Maharashtra police to enter department by department to lathicharge and coerce workers into producing. We demand that you act against the criminal acts of the company management of Munjal Kiriu Manesar and Mahindra Nasik! We know that the contract workers demanding regularization in Alfa Laval Pune are fighting even though you suppress them since their strike from October 2013. We know contract workers in your so-called shining ‘development model’ Gujarat in General Motors in Halol are fighting for their rights even after a 2-day strike on 17 Jan 2014, where your obnoxious contract system throws away workers after every 3-6 months.

And we know of the blood on every wheel that is splattered in Maruti Suzuki Manesar, where your coercive machinery has been unleashed with all ferocity, first on workers who spoke about their right of Union formation, and then on over 2500 families of workers whose lives have been destroyed by your lust for profit. 148 workers are in jail illegally for the last 19 months since 18 July 2012 so that you peacefully profit. We also know how you have similarly pressurized the non-release of workers of Graziano Transmissions India (Noida) in jail since Sept 2008. And in Maruti Suzuki Manesar, 546 permanent and 1800 contract workers have been terminated from their jobs without any domestic enquiry against all norms and laws.

This is the result of your mad run after profit. You have forced the implementation of contract system, to get a mass of insecure workers. In the Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal industrial zone, over 90% of the workers are on contract, living in increasing misery. You do not even spare nature in your fury of profit-making. You coerce the government to systematically withdraw public transport and environment-friendly means of transport, like water-transport for navigation and bicycles. You do not even spare human beings in the images you sell, as you objectify women in ads and in presenting your ‘new models’ in this very AutoExpo, perpetuating commodification of women and gender violence in society.

We demand:

v Immediate reinstatement of all 2300 terminated workers from Maruti Suzuki, Manesar! Immediate reinstatement of all terminated-suspended workers of Munjal Kiriu Manesar, Autofit Dharuhera and Daikin Neemrana!

v Stop arm-twisting the judiciary in stopping the release of all 148 arrested Maruti Suzuki workers!

v Immediate abolition of the contract system! Immediately stop the illegal system of employing contract workers in production!

v Immediate stop to scuttling of worker’s rights of Union formation and collective bargaining in collusion with the labour departments! Stop influencing the government machinery and judiciary-bureaucracy to promote anti-labour laws and policies!

v Ensuring living wage for all workers!

v An end to using women as commodities in advertisements!

6th February 2014, Delhi
KNS (Krantikari Naujawan Sabha)