Press Release by NDLF on persecution of Maruti Manesar workers
Maruti Labour Union leaders given life in prison!
Working class faces persecution!
A sessions court in Gurgaon sentenced 13 Maruti employees to life imprisonment; 4 others were awarded 5 years jail term and 14 others were sent to jail for 3 years. Just like this sentence, even the case proceeding had been a travesty of justice.
What crimes did these Maruti workers commit?
- They formed labour union as per Indian law!
- They opposed the cruel exploitation under contract labour system!
- They demanded just salary for work done and legally entitled rest time!
- They demanded to be respected as human beings!
- Above all they built unity between permanent and contract workers!
This is the primary reason for the corporate attack on Maruti workers.
In order to crush the workers resistance to capitalistic oppression, Maruti management orchestrated planned violence inside the factory in July 2012. They sent in hundreds of rowdie elements into the factory, set fire to a part of the plant, and burnt to death Awinesh Kumar Dev, a HR officer who was sympathetic to workers. However, with the help of police the management falsely implicated the workers for these crimes.
148 workers were booked under the case and imprisoned. 2300 workers were dismissed from employment. For more than 4 years, imprisoned workers were denied bail . After 4 years, Gurgaon Sessions Court convicted 13 Labour Union leaders as murderers and 14 as rioters.
Each and every move related to this case has been orchestrated by Police-Corporate combine. Haryana state government spent several crore rupees for conducting this case. Before the judgement was delivered on 10th March, several thousand armed troops commanded by an SP was deployed in Manesar-Gurgaon industrial area. Even ‘peaceful’ protests were banned. The SP publicly threatens labour leaders by pointing his gun at their head. This is the state of impartiality claimed by the state machinery.
When judiciary denied bail to 148 workers, proving once again that the law and justice are only tools for suppressing the working class. After 4 years of imprisonment, the court discharged 117 workers from the case. What is the punishment to Maruti managment and the police for wrongly punishing these innocent workers?
Each step in the court proceedings made it clear that the violence of 2012 was a conspiracy hatched together by Maruti management and Haryana state. What did the judiciary do? They did not even grant bail to the falsely implicated workers. One after other, the witnesses brought by the police were exposed as fakes sponsored by Maruti contractors. What is the mystery behind judges ignoring these blatant fabrications? Is it because they don’t give a damn if the workers suffer in jail? Or is it because of their concern for the profit of Japanese owners? Is there any more rationale left for the working class to trust this judiciary?
The state and the capitalists view Maruti workers struggle not just as a struggle for better wages and working place rights but as a struggle against foreign capital. They fear that if this struggle is allowed to continue, the entire foreign capital in India would be threatened. That is why such cruel punishments are meted out to the workers.
After Maruti Maruti Suzuki’s exploitation and despotism was exposed all over the country by the 2012 incidence, Modi, as the then chief minister of Gujarat, rushed to Japan to meet Suzuki president. He assured Suzuki that they need not worry about the workers protest in Manesar, they can start their factory in Gujarat instead. He would deal with the any worker protests. Such shameless traitor of working class is now the prime minister and his party is in power in Haryana.
The judiciary discharged Aseemanandha of RSS, who had confessed to planting bombs, citing lack of evidence. But, the same judiciary sentences the workers to life sentence on fabricated evidence.This clearly reveals the class character of Indian judiciary.
The capitalist class is celebrating the victory of Modi in UP hoping that it would pave the way for rewriting of labour laws in favor of corporates and turning the whole country into Gurgaon.
What the working class is going to do? Maruti workers did not fight for their own benefit alone. They fought for the rights of entire Indian working class. We should not be silent spectators to their plight. Lakhs of workers of the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial zone are on the battle field facing capitalist-state onslaught.
The battle cry of Gurgaon in North should reverbrate through Tamilnadu in South. Tamilnadu, which shook the BJP regime through the Marina protests, should show its fighting spirit again in solidarity with Maruti workers.
With comradely greetings,
New Democratic Labour Front