MSWU Release: Two-day Hunger Strike and Rally; Onwards to KALI DIWALI !!
9th November 2012
The MSWU completed its two-day hunder strike and dharna on the evening of 8th November in Gurgaon with a spirited mass rally of over 3000 struggling workers joined by over 1000 workers from Eastern Medikit and other factories, and others who came in solidarity yesterday, forcing the government to take notice of our present condition. We broke our hunger strike in front of the DC Office and inside the jail at 4pm, and took out the mass rally from the Mini Secretariat to the Youth and Sports Minister, Sukhbir Kataria’s residence in the Bus stand-Railway station road in Gurgaon, who came down to the street to listen to our demands, and gave us assurance of resolving our demands by taking it up with the Chief Minister after diwali.
This diwali will be a black diwali for us, a diwali of jailed and unemployed workers while the management of Maruti Suzuki rejoices in support it receives from the government, administration and police united against us. We will observe kali diwali on 12th and 13th November in front of the Industries Minister, Randeep Surjewala’s residence in Kaithal, Haryana, where our fellow workers and friends and relatives will join us. We appeal to all to join us and observe solidarity action.
Out hunger strike was a united action by the terminated workers (546 permanents, joined by many of the 2000 contract and apprentice workers) of Maruti Suzuki, Manesar, who sat in front of the DC Office in Gurgaon despite repressive police action on the morning of 7th November and arrests of 40-50 of our fellow workers, who were later released. The police was also forced late into the night of 7th Nov, to release our Provisional Working Committee members O.P. Jat and Ramnivas, who were treated as criminals and taken to demonstrate the torture-techniques mastered by naked-gun-wielding policemen and CIA, Haryana.
The 149 workers languishing in Gurgaon Central jail for the last three-and-a-half months, which includes our entire Union body also completed their two-day hunger strike inside the jail, despite continuous threats of torture and of separating them in separate jails.
We received renewed solidarity from the workers working inside the factory in Manesar, who were planning on a solidarity lunch boycott, but were coerced by the heavy deployment of police and local company-henchmen, and bouncers to drop the solidarity action in the lunch time.
Thus our hunger strike became a form of solidarity action among the workers who are jailed, terminated and working inside the factory. However the company management and the government has tried to divide us, we will continue to find ways to be united in our resolve to forge solidarity and raise our legitimate demands. We were enthused to find the support of the workers and union of Maruti Suzuki plant, Gurgaon, whose Union representatives including Kuldeep Jhangu stayed with us in the dharna site and rally in our support.
Workers from the entire Gugraon-Manesar-Dharuhera industrial belt expressed their solidarity and came to the the dharna site in support. Local and central Trade Unions have continued to come in our support. Besides Trade Unions, a number of student and youths from various universities and organisations, as well as womens’ organisations came in overwhelming support. On the second day, we continued to receive support from various unions and organsations from across India who came in solidarity. Breaking our hunger strike at 4pm, our united mass rally marched around 4 km to the minster’s residence whom we brought down to the street to submit our list of demands.
Besides workers from the industrial belt, the dharna and rally was joined by parents and relatives of the terminated and jailed workers. All the representatives from 16-member United Trade Union Committee who are helping us with our struggle came in support at various times and rallied with us. We were also joined by many workers and unions from across the state, country from UP, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Mumbai, and even from abroad. Many students and youth organizations from universities and colleges from Delhi and Gurgaon, as well as many intellectuals and teachers came in support. The response of the general toiling people from Gurgaon and Delhi has also been steadily in our favour, and we are optimistic of taking our struggle ahead in the coming days.
We reiterate our demands:
- Institute an independent impartial probe into the incident of 18th July 2012, and into the role of the management in it.
- Immediately release all the arrested workers. Stop all repressive measures by the police on workers-inside the jail, inside the company and outside- and on their family members and relatives.
- Immediately reinstate all the 546 terminated workers.
Imaan Khan, Ram Niwas, O. P. Jat, Katar Singh, Yogesh, Raj Pal, Mahabir
Provisional Working Committee,
MARUTI SUZUKI WORKERS UNION (MSWU)