REPORT: All-INDIA PROTEST DAY [Courtesy: Maruti Suzuki Workers Union]
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, Com. 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 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.
In this scenario of 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, Halwani, 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) 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 (list not exhaustive) factory-based and independent trade unions and area-based workers organisations 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, Karnataka Shramik Shakti; Gujarat Federation of Trade Unions, Gujarat Mazdoor Sabha; Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Textile Hosiery Kamgar Union,
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