SF Rally 3/21 On International Day Of Solidarity To Defend 13 Indian Maruti-Suzuki auto workers sentenced to life imprisonment-Free The Jailed Unionists
Tuesday March 21, 2017 11:00 AM SF Bay Area Solidarity Action For Maruti-Suzuki Workers
San Francisco Indian Consulate 540 Arguello Blvd,/Geary St. San Francisco, CA 94118
Call The Consulate And Protest The Sentences Phone: (415) 668-0683
On March 18, 2017 an Indian court in Gurgaon sentence 13 Maruti-Suzuki auto workers to life imprisonment. They did not have a fair trial and the Indian government wants to threaten all workers that if they fight for unionization particularly at virulently anti-labor multi-nationals like Japan based Maruti-Suzuki they will be severely punished. Now is the time to let the Indian government that these worekrs must be released and Indian workers have the right to organize, form independent unions and take action on the shop floor without the police and military crushing their labor actions.
On March 21, 2017 an international day of action has been called for by these workers.
Please support their fight
United Public Workers For Action http://www.upwa.info
For more information or to endorse
(415)282-1908 info [at] upwa.info
The Factory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPK1W2D9hho
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COURT SPELLS "JUDGEMENT" ON MARUTI WORKERS
Gurgaon sessions court has sentenced 13 workers to life imprisonment.
The convicted are all members of the union body, and Jiyalal, a dalit worker who was wrongfully suspended by the management on speaking up against casteist abuse by a supervisor. The conviction of these workers is a shameful example of the judicial system playing to the tunes of corporate interests and will be challenged by the workers both in court and on the streets.
Another 4 workers have been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, out of which they have already served 4 years in jail. 14 workers are to be released with Rs. 2,500 fine as having undergone their punishment.
In the absolute lack of evidence, the court has been forced to admit that the 117 workers acquitted after having spent close three years in jail were illegally detained, and wrongfully confined and it was an unlawful arrest.
Haryana government will have to answer to their crimes, for having ruined hundreds of lives of workers and their families at the behest of Maruti Suzuki.
Reject the fallacy of this "rule of law" that serves the interests of the interests of the capitalist class rather than the toiling people!
Release the 13 Maruti workers, the prisoners of class struggle!
Maruti Suzuki Verdict: Class Solidarity against a ‘Political Judgement’ http://tnlabour.in/automobile-industry/4962
Posted on March 17, 2017 by Thozhilalar Koodam
Workers across Tamilnadu boycott lunch; Join Protests against Maruti Riots Case Judgment
March 16th prior to the verdict was declared a National Day of action against the Maruti Riots Case verdict that has incarcerated 31 workers including all the union leaders of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union for the fire accident and subsequent death of a HR Manager on July 18th 2011. Of the 148 workers arrested, charged and jailed for over 3 years, 117 were acquitted from all charges, 13 were charged with murder and attempt to murder and 18 were charged with causing grievous injury. The sentencing for the 31 workers found guilty will begin today 17th March.
Lunch Boycott across factories in Chennai
CNF automotive, Oragadum
Diamond Chain, Ambattur
Workers at Innovators
OnLoad Gears, Chennai
Workers from Sanmina, On load Gears, CMF Oragadam, Diamond Chains and many other factories had boycotted lunch in show of solidarity with the incarcerated workers of Maruti Suzuki. The Sanmina workers who are themselves conducting an on site protest after a General Manager is said to have used casteist slurs against a worker, boycotted their food and 4 workers including a woman worker had to be treated after fainting. Hyundai unions have called for a boycott lunch tomorrow in solidarity with the maruti workers. Workers from Shanti Gears in Coimbatore also joined the one day hunger fast by boycotting lunch at factory canteens
Shanti Gears Coimbatore
Demonstrations demanding Justice to Maruti Workers
AICCTU Protest at Ambattur
Workers ending hunger fast
Workers from TI Cycles, Diamond Chains, Innovators, On Load Gears, Saimeera, Jay Engineering, Sanmina, Caterpillar participated in the hunger fast. Over 100 workers participated. The meeting, organized by AICCTU, was addressed by worker from Saimeera, Caterpillar, Gunabalan of Pricol, Rajaguru of Hyundai.
It was presided by Com. Palanivel, District Sec for AICCTU. Comrade AS Kumar gave the concluding address and gave the revenue and the profits that Maruti was making during 2012 and 2013 and how repressive the conditions of workers were in Maruti.
Comrade Gunabalan traced how the case against him was falsified when he was not even in town on the day of the Pricol workers and highlighted the similarities between Pricol and Maruti workers. He said that they would continue to raise the issue of Maruti workers in the rally being planned March 23rdand on May 1st. Leaders and union organizers from AITUC and Kumugha Viduthalai Thozhillalar sangam participated in the hunger fast
Workers at NDLF Protest, Avadi
Over 200 Workers from TI cycles, Tubes India and informal sector participated in a demonstration near Avadi Municipality. Organized by NDLF, the workers raised slogans against the maruti verdict, demanding justice for the workers and end to the judicial bais towards capitalist. Com. Mukundan, State President of NDLF, presided over the demonstration, while com. Vijaya Kumar, State Treasures of NDLF spoke in detail about the events leading upto the riots, the criminal actions of the Maruti Suzuki management and the travesty of the judicial process that led to excessive sufferings and financial loss for the 148 workers, of whom 117 have been acquitted entirely. NDLF has also organized similar protests in Pondicherry, Hosur and Coimbatore.
COm. Mukundan addressing the demonstation
NDLF Protest Banner
The recurring theme in the speeches was the visible double standards in the adjudication of cases and delivery of sentences. Calling it a ‘political Judgment’ all speakers pointed out the manner in which cases against management and owners for violation of labour laws are procrastinated while cases against workers for protests and violence are fast tracked and harsh punishments delivered. The Sufferings of the Pricol workers in Coimbatore, who were incarcerated in a similar case, was highlighted. Speakers also spoke of the glorious struggles in 1921 against B&C mills in Chennai, in which the British colonial government had acted with excessive force in putting down the workers and arresting key leaders. ‘How different was this government which we have supposedly elected democratically?’ questioned Vijayakumar, speaker at the NDLF meeting. The support for the workers of maruti, especially the incarcerated workers were visible. A.S Kumar, also demanded compensation for the 117 acquitted maruti workers and immediate restoration of jobs with back wages. ‘They have been jailed for more than 3 years, how heavily have they suffered, emotionally as well as livelihood wise, the government should compensate them for this unjust suffering’ he said.
From one Prisoner of Conscience to another Comrade
Gunabalan, one of the Pricol 8, who had been recently acquitted of all charges by the High Court of Madras, said that the workers of Maruti are not alone in this struggle and it was essential for every workers to stand with them at this crucial moment. From his experience as a under trail for many years, he said his greatest strength had been the frequent visits of colleagues, union leaders and family members and the news that workers were continuing to protest, raise money and take care of his family. ‘ this is essential for the workers to know as it will keep them in high spirits’ he said. He also asked the jailed workers not to lose heart and to know that the working class was fighting for them.
Solidarity Actions in Delhi
Mess at Daikin during Lunch
Workers Marching in Solidarity
Workers at Bhilai in Solidarity
protestors at Haryana Bhavan,
Class solidarity action for Maruti-Suzuki workers is taking place in many parts of the country today. In the Gurgaon-Manesar-Dharuhera-Bawal-Neemrana industrial belt, a Few lakh workers from over 40 companies skipped unch/dinner yesterday. All the unions in the belt came together to stand in solidarity with the Maruti workers whose punishment will be decided today. Irrespective of the category of exploitation, permanent, contract, trainee, apprentice raised their solidarity voices against the shocking judgement by the lower court and refused food. All the unions held a meeting in public park on 15th March and have decided and urged all their members to reach the court today. Future course of action will be decided after the court announces the punishment.
In Delhi, workers affiliated to a variety of unions and solidarity activists gathered at Hariyana Bhavan to protest against the blatantly unjust , pro-corporate and anti-worker verdict which was announced on 10th March. However in keeping with the anti-worker policies and actions of the state, Delhi police immediately arrested all the workers who had gathered and detained them. They left some of those gathered at Jantar Mantar and slowly the site of protest shifted to Jantar Mantar.
Protests also took place in Ludhiana, Bhilai, Rudrapur.
here is an expanding list of factories where workers solidarity actions have been reported
1. Maruti Suzuki Workers Union, Manesar
2. Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union, Gurgaon
3. Maruti Suzuki Powertrain India Employees Union, Manesar
4. Suzuki Motorcycles India Employees Union, Khedki Daula
5. Honda Motorcycle and Scooters Employees Union, Manesar
6. Hero MotoCorp Employees Union, Gurgaon
7. Hero MotoCorp Employees Union, Dharuhera
8. Daikin air-conditioning Employees Union, Neemrana
9. Bellsonica Auto Components Employees Union, Manesar
10. Kansai Nerolac Paints Karmchari Union, Bawal
11. Rico Auto Workers Union, Dharuhera
12. Omax Auto Employees Union, Dharuhera
13. Bajaj Motors Employees Union, Narsinghpur
14. Sunbeam Workers Union, Gurgaon
15. Munjal Kiriu Employees Union, Manesar
16. Sona Koyo Steering Workers Union, Manesar
17. Microtech Union, Bawal
18. Ahresty Union, Bawal,
19.Pricol Union, Manesar
20. Hema Union, Gurgaon
21. Napino Union, Manesar
22. Satyam Auto Union, Manesar
23. GKN Union, Dharuhera
24. Metro Ortem Union, Gurgaon
25. FCC Union, Manesar
26. Munjal Showa Union, Gurgaon
27. Munjal Showa Union, Manesar
28. Talbros Union, Manesar
29. Perfetti Union, Manesar
30. Frigoglass Union, Manesar
31. Organica Medical, Manesar
32. ENKY Union, Manesar
33. Uniproduct Union, Bawal
34. Autofit Union, Dharuhera
35. Endurance Union, Manesar
36. Asti Union, Manesar
37. MK Auto Union, Gurgaon
38. Harsoriya Union, Bawal
39. Amul Union, Manesar
40. Moser Bear Union, Noida
41. LG Union, Noida
• Diamond Chain, Chennai
• TI Cycles, Chennai
• Tube India Products, Chennai
• Onload Gears
• Innovators, Chennai
• Saimeera, Chennai
• Caterpillar, Chennai
• Sanmina, Chennai
• Jay Engineering, Chennai
• Shanti Gears, Coimbatore
• CNF Automotive, Chennai
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The Factory (132 min.) (2015) (India) Directed by: Rahul Roy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPK1W2D9hho
The struggle of the Maruti Suzuki workers in India is the focus of this important documentary about autoworkers. Suzuki, a Japanese based multi-national, decided to expand into India with a car assembly plant. The factory was located about 30 miles from New Delhi.
The film shows that Suzuki was intent on exploiting workers to the max and colluded with the government to set up a company union. The autos come off the assembly line every 50 seconds and workers face a brutal pace. Breaks are limited to only a 7-minute break in the morning and afternoon and 30 minutes for lunch. This excludes the time it takes to go to the canteen. Additionally half the workers are contract workers who are not entitled to healthcare or uniforms. A single absence means a 25% reduction in pay and a two-day absence a 50% cut.
After organizing an independent union called Maruti Suzuki Employees Union, the company created an incident on July 18, 2012 in which a pro-union manager was killed in the factory and the factory ended up on fire. They then changed 148 workers with murder and arson. They also, with the support of the courts and the government, fire 2500 workers who were supporters of the union.
The brutality that these auto workers faced is not unique. In Bogotá, Colombia, injured workers have been encamped outside the US consulate for more than 4 years to get justice and compensation for their injuries. These multi-national companies, like Suzuki, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, and GM, have one goal and that is the increased exploitation of their workforce for greater profits. The struggle of the Maruti Suzuki workers to free their jailed comrades and also get justice in their fight with this company still continues.
This film gives an up close view of what workers face in India and around the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPK1W2D9hho
India Maruti Suzuki Workers Strike In Gurgaon/India-Sacked India Maruti Suzuki auto workers demand justice for colleagues who have been in jail for three years http://en.labournet.tv/video/6048/maruti-suzuki-workers-strike-gurgaonindia
hindi with english and german subtitles | 15 min | 2011 | hits: 2041
From June 4th to 17th, 2000 workers of the Manesar Maruti-Suzuki factory took part in a wildcat strike.
" It was a hard struggle. Without previous notice, the workers brought production to a complete standstill. About 2000 workers spent almost two weeks in the factory. The strike "delayed" the production of 13200 cars and caused a 6 Mrd. R (133 million US-Dollar / 100 million Euros) worth of damage. The workers continued to stike, even though it was officially declared illlegal on June 10th and even though police were stationed within the factory.
The young workers showed great courage, and the company was hit in a phase of full production capacity, nevertheless the outcome was a defeat for the majority of the workers. Their most important goal, improving working conditions and wages, was not attained. Instead, the agreement contained a penalty wage cut of two days' wage per strike day - something that has rarely been seen in India. The agreement also includes the re-employment ot the eleven unionists, who had been fired during the protests, but they will be subjected to an "investigation" We do not know, whether the majority of workers are demoralised after this strike, but we can well imagine it.
This strike could have spread. The initial demands and motivations of the maruti workers are in accordance with the feelings of most young workers in the region: more money, less work. In Manesar, there are more than a hundred thousand workers with similar requirements.
The strike paralyzed 200 suppliers in the region, but there were no connections made with the workers of these factories. This might be the greatest difference between this struggle and last year's Honda strike in China. It might also be a reason for the scarce coverage - in mainstream media a s well as in leftist publications - despite the growing importance on the global market of Maruti Suzuki as well as of India as a whole ."
Sacked India Maruti Suzuki auto workers demand justice for colleagues who have been in jail for three years
Sacked Maruti workers demand justice for colleagues who have been in jail for three years http://scroll.in/article/772244/sacked-maruti-workers-demand-justice-for-colleagues-who-have-been-in-jail-for-three-years
Sacked Maruti workers demand justice for colleagues who have been in jail for three years
Workers' groups say Maruti workers are being targeted for demanding their constitutional rights.
Anumeha Yadav · Yesterday · 10:00 pm
Photo Credit: Anumeha Yadav
Three years on, Maruti workers are still fighting for justice. On Friday, hundreds of workers who had been dismissed by Maruti Suzuki India Limited, India's largest car manufacturer, after a prolonged worker-management conflict at its Manesar plant in Haryana in 2012, met in Gurgaon to demand the acquittal of their colleagues have been are in jail since 2012. They also urged the authorities to withdraw the non-bailable warrants against 66 colleagues who have been on the run for three years.
Workers' representatives of Hyundai, Ford, Toyota, Hindustan Motors working in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal and Uttarakhand attended the meeting. It was the first time workers from car manufacturing and vendor companies in automobile zones across the country had organised such a meeting. Satish Kumar, who is the general secretary of the Ford Employees Union in Chennai was among those representing plant-level unions from automobile zones in other states. “A team from Maruti workers' solidarity centre visited Chennai six months back and then, for the first time, we became aware of the details of what the workers had faced. The government and the courts are biased in favour of big industry.”
Their immediate focus was on the dismissed Maruti workers. In 2011-'12, workers at Maruti's Manesar factory stuck work three times to demand that they be allowed to set up an independent union. They asked for improvements in their wages and working conditions. When a fire broke out at the plant during a clash between workers and management on July 18, 2012, a senior manager died and several others were injured. The police charged 147 Maruti workers with murder and rioting.
Of this number, 113 got bail earlier this year, but 34 workers were denied bail. Between August and September, the police arrested two more workers from Haryana and Delhi, bringing the total number of workers in jail to 36.
Ram Niwas, a member of the Workers' Provisional Committee, which has been working on securing legal aid for the jailed workers, said the unfair practices employed by Maruti Suzuki three years ago were now being replicated across the country.
Several of the dismissed workers who attended the meeting said they had not been able to find regular employment since 2012. Many spoke of their job applications being rejected if they mentioned that they had been dismissed from Maruti. “I applied for a job at a Hyundai agency in Fatehabad, they turned me away when they found out I had been employed that year at Maruti,” recounted Bittu Kumar who had worked for six years at the Manesar factory. Since last year, he has been working as a Life Insurance Corporation agent.
Laxman Kumar*, a 27-year old worker, against whom the police issued a non-bailable warrant after the incident at the factory said he had been on the run since 2012. “I do odd jobs in different places and visit home once in six months or so for a few hours to see my family," he said. "The police visited my house and recorded address and details for even my extended family, I feel I am not safe at any place.
Harminder Kaur, whose younger brother Sarabjeet Singh had been the general secretary of the workers unions when the conflict turned violent, was also present at the meeting. "The government and the courts need to at least re-examine the sections they have jailed my brothers and others in under," she said. "How could the police accuse 147 persons of one person's murder? Sometimes, it feels like no one is listening, but I am hopeful that every effort we make is making a dent."
A new documentary brings the India Maruti struggle alive through the stories of its arrested workers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQ-kImrpSi0 http://scroll.in/article/731388/a-new-documentary-brings-the-maruti-struggle-alive-through-the-stories-of-its-arrested-workers
Rahul Roy's latest film revisits the unionisation dispute that rocked the automobile company's plant in Manesar between 2011 and 2013.
Nandini Ramnath · Jun 03, 2015 · 01:30 pm
Photo Credit: Rahul Roy
One of the first things to be said about Rahul Roy’s new documentary The Factory is that it is two hours long. Nobody is more conscious of this fact than Roy. At a recent film screening in Delhi, Roy and the film’s editor, Reena Mohan, wondered how viewers were going to take the length. “I thought, God, what a bore, will people sit through it, but it seems to have gone down well,” Roy said.
The documentary’s running time is inextricably linked to its subject and narrative treatment. The Factory revisits one of the most contentious cases of industrial unrest in recent history: the face-off between workers and the management of the Maruti Suzuki automobile factory in Manesar in Haryana that started in 2011. Roy, who has also shot the documentary, started filming on July 18, 2013, exactly a year after the death of general manager of Human Resources, Avnish Kumar Dev, during a violent clash between workers and the management. The company alleged that Dev perished from beatings and suffocation after his floor caught fire, and 147 workers were jailed on murder charges. The workers, who had been clashing with the management over their attempts form a union for several months, countered that Dev’s death was an excuse to frame them and demonise the union.
The affair, which is by no means over, is filled with dramatic moments. But in keeping with Roy’s longstanding interest in labour, capital and working-class lives and his quiet, observational approach, the film is a sober and rigorous account of the soul-destroying courtroom grind endured by the arrested workers on the inside and their families on the outside. (As of March, 79 workers had been granted bail, while 68 continue to be behind bars.)
“Given the nature and the scale of the issue, the fact that one is dealing with a history and the production part of it, and given the cases, there was no way I could have done justice to it all,” Roy said. “Ideally I would always want a shorter film. But the film needed a certain pace, it needed time to make various connections. Besides, how do you create a sense of the wait in real time, of people’s lives and the frustrations that build up.”
Roy began to shoot his film at a demonstration against Maruti to mark the first anniversary of the arrests in 2013 and ended the film exactly a year later in Gujarat, where the company hopes to shift the plant. “I actually started filming at a point when the movement was not at its peak,” said the 52 year-old filmmaker. “I filmed at a point when the movement was waning in terms of its public presence and the entire concentration was on the court cases.”
In between the endless waiting, the anxieties and agonies faced by the families of the incarcerated workers and the frustrations of the defence lawyers, Roy traces a short history of Maruti in India – its inception as a public-private joint venture with Suzuki holding the majority stake in 1982, its huge share of the car market until recently, and the establishment of the Manesar plant in 2007.
High targets usually result in a punishing shopfloor culture. In order to ensure that a finished car rolls off the assembly line every 50 seconds, the plant employs a mix of permanent and contract workers. In a telling sequence, a worker blandly details number of minutes allotted for tea and lunch breaks: seven for tea and 30 for lunch.
“The production process had to become a very important element,” Roy said. “That was a huge challenge, since I didn’t have access to the management. How do you create a narrative around the production process without putting people to sleep?”
The fact that the Maruti management obdurately refused to talk to Roy or give him permission to shoot inside the plant also influenced the narrative. The Factory is seen through the eyes of the workers and their supporters. There is no attempt to establish equivalence by seeking the other side of the story. Maruti’s views on the matter come through in indirect ways: through a presentation that plays out on a giant screen as dancers writhe before it in silhouette, media reports and the legal representations made by the company. Maruti appears in the film as a malevolent presence that instituted an unhealthy work culture to ensure profit at all costs, actively blocked the workers’ legitimate demands to allow them to form a union, and influenced villagers living near the plant through corporate social responsibility programmes into providing them with muscle power when the workers went on strike.
“In the larger sense, what is fairly clear is that there is almost a nexus between the state and corporations coming together,” Roy said. “For instance, why did the state appoint KPS Tulsi as the public prosecutor for what is essentially a murder trial?” The erstwhile Congress Party government in Haryana paid Tulsi Rs 5.5 crore for his appearance. He was replaced in December by a team of 85 state lawyers.
Tulsi and the rest of the prosecution team are another invisible entity in a film that sticks close with its subjects, filming the arrested workers as they arrive at or leave the court premises, interviewing their lawyers, and spending time with their families.
“Where you place the camera reveals a lot about the film and filmmaker,” Roy explained. “I very consciously decided that the camera would always be on one side. It would look at the workers’ angle, not in terms of becoming a PR job, but becoming observant to how they are dealing with the issues.” The documentary
The Factory is one of the several films funded by the Justice Project, which examines political, social and economic conflicts across the subcontinent.
Filmmakers and researchers in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka have produced films as well as academic studies on such varied subjects as the Ayodha mosque dispute, the death of garment workers in Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013, and post-civil war compensation in Sri Lanka. The Factory and other films as well as the research papers ewill be presented at a seminar in Colombo in early June, and a similar event will be held in Delhi in July.
Sweat and blood
The Factory is in the same mould as the landmark 1976 documentary Harlan County, USA, Barbara Kopple’s exhaustive account of a lengthy and complicated strike by coal mine workers in Kentucky in 1973. Kopple spent a few years with the workers and their families and captured the crests and troughs of the movement. Some of Harlan County, USA’s most stirring sequences are of the solidarity and courage displayed by the mine workers and their families, who battle violence, litigation and changes within the union with utmost clarity about their basic rights and their unquestionable contributions to their employer’s bottomline.
The Factory also has several stories of fortitude and courage displayed by the workers, many of whom are products of Industrial Training Institutes and have a well-defined sense of what is due to them. Roy has previously examined working-class lives in his films Majma, When Four Friends Meet and The City Beautiful, but he has mostly been engaged with the informal sector, such as handloom weavers in The City Beautiful. “Labour has been an abiding interest, so there is a continuum with my previous films, but I have always worked with unorganised labour,” said Roy, who graduated from the Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi in 1987 and was a part of the generation of documentarians who worked on video and investigated the economic and social divisions that opened up in India after the Emergency. “This was the first time I was working with organised labour, but it was a very different class of labour. The big issue in the Maruti case was about dignity – the workers felt stripped of their dignity all the time. They displayed tremendous intellectual rigour and political acumen. These are not workers who are going to take things lying down – they are educated, they are on Facebook and they use smartphones – and this is something the Indian industry has to face.”
In some cases, neither a degree nor a Facebook account is needed to arrive at the realisation that big business can be the cause of unrest rather than progress. The Factory begins in Haryana and ends up in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat, where Maruti has been allotted land to set up a plant. The farmers whose land is being acquired for the project are most unhappy at Maruti’s sudden appearance on their horizon, and they declare their opposition to the project. Visuals of row upon row of cars waiting to leave the parking lot give way to lines of cows ambling over land that might, some day, become yet another battleground between the forces of profit and the human beings who are supposed to deliver it.
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