KALI DIWALI: MSWU release, 12 November
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12 November 2012
This diwali is a black diwali for us, a diwali of jailed and unemployed workers while the management of Maruti Suzuki rejoices in support and assurance it receives from the government, administration and police acting against us. We took out a march in the morning today from the new bus stand in Kaithal to the residence of Industries Minister, Randeep Surjewala’s residence in Kaithal, Haryana, where we planned observe kali diwali on 12th and 13th November. Our fellow workers and friends and relatives joined us. We spoke to the minister, Surjewala, who listended to our demands, and gave assurance to resolve the issue at the earliest and speak to the Labour minister, Shiv Charan Lal and the Chief Minister after diwali.
Earlier, starting on 7th morning, 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, 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.
Out hunger strike was a united action by the terminated workers, 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. Today’s march and dharna in Kaithal saw mass participation. 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.
- Immediately end the illegal lock-out in Eastern Medikit, and take back all the workers with payment of back dues.
Imaan Khan, Ram Niwas, O. P. Jat, Katar Singh, Yogesh, Raj Pal, Mahabir
Provisional Working Committee,
MARUTI SUZUKI WORKERS UNION (MSWU)