MASS PROTEST MEETING
AGAINST LIFE IMPRISONMENT TO 13 MARUTI SUZUKI WORKERS!
Against The Anti-Worker Verdict By The COURT Protecting Interests OF Capitalist-State Nexus!
31st March, 11am
Jantar Mantar, New Delhi
# Workers and Union representatives from various factories in the Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal-Neemrana industrial belts, including Maruti Suzuki, Honda HMSI etc.
#Family members of Jailed Maruti Suzuki workers.
# Representatives of workers organisations and struggling Trade Unions from different states of India, including from Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telengana, West Bengal, and so on.
Mazdoor Adhikar Sangharsh Abhiyan (MASA) condemns in strongest possible words the judgement given by the Gurgaon Sessions Court on 18 March in the Maruti workers case. Life imprisonment have been delivered to 13 workers, including 12 office bearers of the first union body of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union, who were arrested and charged in connection with the incidents at Maruti Manesar plant on 18 July 2012, in which an HR Manager died. 117 of the arrested Maruti workers have been aquitted after spending almost 4 years in prison, as no evidence and not a single witness against them could be produced in the trial process. That shows the shaky foundation of the case itself. But, 31 workers have been convicted of various offenses. 4 workers have been given imprisonment for 5 years, and 13 workers have been declared guilty of murder. Among this 13 workers, 12 workers are office bearers of the first union body of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union formed in 2012, and it is clear that they have been specifically targeted for their role as trade union leaders.
If the evidence produced during the trial process and the argument placed by the public prosecutor is followed, it becomes clear that no evidence was provided to link any of these workers to the death of the manager. The reason of death according to post-mortem report is asphyxiation, and no workers could be linked, directly or indirectly, to the fire that caught up a section of the factory that day.
The actual reason to deliver this harsh judgement against Maruti workers is an attempt on behalf of the ruling class to set a negative example to suppress the militant working class struggles sprouting in different parts of India on the face of repressions, of which Maruti workers struggle has been a glaring example. Maruti workers’ struggle for union formation, for abolition of contract system, for dignity in workplace, and, the unity of permanent-contract-trainee-apprentice workers and theह influence of their militancy and protracted struggle on contemporary workers movement in India have been a source of discomfort for the ruling class. Immedaitely after the incident of 18 July, the CEO of Maruti Suzuki, R. C. Bhargabha described the incident of that day as ‘class war’. The entire state machinery was used to protect the interests of ‘foreign investment’, to hound and punish the workers, to suppress the struggle. The punishment of union leaders is an attempt from their side to terrorize and demoralize the working class. From Pricol, Regent Ceramics, Graziano to Maruti, ‘criminalization’ of workers invoking ‘law and order’ issue has been the tactics of ruling class to suppress working class assertions. The convicted Maruti workers are the political prisoners of the ongoing class struggle.
However, industrial actions and solidarity actions on this political issues in all Maruti plants, in Gurgaon-Manesar-Dharuhera-Bawal industrial belt, in different corners of India and in different countries asserts that intensification of class struggle is the only way forward.
MASA stands in full solidarity with the Maruti workers in their struggle for justice, and urges to the workers of this country to stand united and fight back against this anti-worker judgement.
Immediately free the Maruti workers and drop all charges!
Amit (9873057637), Shyambir (9540886678) , Santosh (9953175766)
on behalf of Mazdoor Adhikar Sangharsh Abhiyan (MASA)