Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Solidarity with the Maruti-Suzuki workers


Working class struggles are setting examples for exploited people sall over the world. One recent example is the workers’ movement of Maruti-Suzuki plant in Manesar. The tussles between the management and the workers have started since the workers have initiated the independent labour union in Manesar plant. The workers demanded the right to form the labour union as per Indian law. They opposed the exploitation under contract labour system, demanded proper salary and legally entitled rest time. They demanded to be respected as human beings.  Above all, they built unity between permanent and contract workers. Ram Niwas, member of Maruti Suzuki labour union, described the working environment in Manesar plant. 7 min for tea break, 20 mins for food and 5 mins for natural calls and two day salary cut for one day leave. The workers were squeezedhard to produce one car in 44 minutes. As the movement against contractualisation of workers intensified, the company management had to use their machinery to stop the movement by devious tactics.
 In March 17th 2017, a session court in Gurgaon delivered the sentence in the case, convicting 31 workers and acquitting 117. Among the 31 workers, 13 were given life imprisonment, in which 12 are office-bearers in thelabour union.
Each step in the court proceedings made it clear that the violence of 2012 was a conspiracy hatched together by Maruti management, the Haryana police andgovernment. According to the lawyer Rebecca John who appeared for the workers, there is no concrete evidence against the 13 workers within the judgement. Meanwhile, the Haryana government’s public prosecutor demands death sentence for the workers, even without solid evidence, saying “Our industrial growth has dipped, FDI has dried up. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is calling for ‘Make in India,’ but such incidents are a stain on our image”. It is to benoted that the then Gujarat CM Modi went toJapan to meet Suzuki chairman asking to havethe factory in Gujarat assuring him that there will not be any workers’ protest. Such open betrayer of working class is now the Prime Minister, with his party in power in both centre and state. While the Supreme Court pointed towards “collective conscience” for hanging Afzal Guru, the sessions court in Haryana has now convicted the workers to satisfy the conscience of the global capital.
The workers in spite of severe repression has carried on with their fight in Manesar which shows the revolutionary spirit and unity of the working class beyond their divisions of “permanent” and “contract”. Thousands of workers and progressive organizations in India and other countries came up in solidarity with the convicted workers. Workers from over 30 unions immediately came and joined in solidarity, which include all the 4 Maruti plants, Bellsonica, FMI, Honda HMSI, Rico, FCC Rico, Munjal Showa, Munjal Kiriu, Daikin AC and many others. Central trade unions and other workers organizations also joined in solidarity. On the date before the punishments were declared on 17 March by the Court, thousands of workers from Gurgaon to Bawal boycotted factory lunch and dinner in solidarity with the struggle for justice for Maruti Suzuki workers.
The onslaught on the workers should be seen in connection with removing from the people their basic rights and organized loot of cheap labour andnatural resources by the corporates and their Indian lackeys with help of the state machinery in the name of development and globalization.This is the same case for different sections of people as well,farmer suicides and large-scale migrations due to loss of livelihood,lay-offs in IT sector (25,000 workers from TCS and now 20,000 workers in CTS),commericialization of education leading to fee hikes and ‘financial autonomy’ in public institutions, pushing cashless economy in the interest of finance capital and so on. Futher, implementation of automation and artificial intelligence as part of the fourth industrial revolution in manufacturing and service sectors will lead to wiping out 69 percent of the existing jobs.  It can be easily understood that capitalism is the root cause for such problems faced by large sections of people in our country.
On the occasion of May Day, the World Socialist Movement stands up for Maruti-Suzuki workers of Manesar to defend their rights and liberties. We condemn the repression on the workers and demand unconditional release of all the workers convicted in the workers’ movement of Maruti-Suzuki plant in Manesar. We appeal the world community to come in solidarity with them and support working-class movements across  India. The onslaught directed at the working class, including  police repression and media misrepresentation  place a heavy burden on the struggling workers. Still the struggles of workers in Maruti-Suzuki plant in Manesar and other workers in solidarity with them make a positive example of collective assertions and struggle against exploitation, through forging an ever greater unity of working masses. It is the need of the hour for workers to unite in a common struggle against the casteist-capitalist policies of the Hindutva State in order to save their livelihood and rights.
Solidarity with the Maruti-Suzuki workers of Manesar!
Workers of the world, unite!
To end capitalism, contact:
The World Socialist Party (India): 257 Baghajatin ‘E’ Block (East), Kolkata – 700086,
Tel: 2425-0208,

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