7 February, 2013Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) organized an all-India day of solidarity action on 5 February 2013 to condemn the state repression and demanding release of arrested workers and reinstatement of all dismissed workers of Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL).
After the 18 July 2012 violent incident, in which a manager at Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) was killed, workers are facing increased state repression. Currently 147 workers including all office bearers of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) (Registration No. 1923) are in jail without bail for more than 6 months. In addition 66 more workers have been issued non-bailable arrest warrants. In response to the 18 July incident, the MSIL management terminated 546 regular and nearly 2,300 contract workers.
The workers’ struggle is led by a Provisional Working Committee (PWC) as the MSWU has been deregistered and all the office bearers are in Gurgaon Central Jail. The struggle has taken various forms like rallies, demonstrations across all districts of Haryana and in Delhi, mass hunger strikes. The MSWU and PWC also sought to foster solidarity with contract workers in the entire NCR industrial belt with an Auto Workers Convention. They have recently taken out a Justice Rally across all districts of Haryana, which culminated in a mass demonstration of over 5,000 people in Rohtak on 27 January 2013. MSWU alleges that police and intelligence officials are arresting any activist who is coming forward to lead the agitation. Consequently workers under fear psychosis and scared to mobilize openly.
The Political Secretary of the Chief Minister of Haryana assured the demonstrators that the Chief Minister would meet them on 13 February, to discuss their issues.
In this critical situation MSWU announced the all-India day of solidarity action on 5 February 2013 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. Around 150 representatives of 23 All India organizations comprising of trade unions, student unions and human rights organizations participated in the solidarity demonstration. Memorandums were submitted to the local elected representatives and to Bhupinder Hooda, Chief Minister, Haryana.
Demands of MSWU include:
- Institute a high-level independent impartial probe into the incident of 18 July 2012
- Immediately release all arrested 147 workers
- Immediately reinstate all terminated workers, including 546 permanent and around 2,300 contract workers;
- Stop the flouting of labour laws, and implement the right to form a union in all auto companies in the region
- Stop the illegal contract labour system in permanent nature of work in the industrial belt.