The current repression against Maruti workers is severe – since the unrest on 18th of July 2012 over 150 workers have been arrested, more than 500 permanent workers have been fired, more than 1,500 temporary workers might have lost their – or rather ‘this’ – job and over a thousand state and private cops have been stationed in and around the Maruti factory in order to secure industrial ‘peace’. Repression tends to focus our view and acts on itself – it forces us to react, instead of acting ourselves. These are difficult times for engaging in critical analysis of the struggles of our class. To criticise our own activities while the enemy attacks seems rather paradox or untimely – but we think it is necessary.
Towards a Workers’ Organisation (Part Two) / Material on Struggle at Maruti Suzuki – Gurgaon Workers News no.51
yanam-violence is everywhere
Gurgaon in the industrial belt of Delhi is presented as the shining India, a symbol of capitalist success promising a better life for everyone… Behind the facade, behind the factory walls and in the side streets of the industrial areas thousands of workers keep the rat-race going, producing cars and scooters for the middle-waged classes which end up in the traffic jam on the new highway between Delhi and Gurgaon. Thousands of young proletarianised post-graduates lose time, energy and academic aspirations on night-shifts in call centres, selling loan schemes to working-class people in the US or pre-paid electricity schemes to the poor in the UK. Next door, thousands of rural-migrant workers up-rooted by the rural crisis stitch and sew for export, competing with their angry brothers and sisters in Bangladesh, China or Vietnam… Read more:
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Trade union leaders in India have announced that they will hold a joint strike on February 28, 2012.
All the Central Trade Unions (CTUs) are demanding better labour laws and effective government implementation of these laws to protect employees’ interests. This will be the first industry and nation-wide labor strike in India. Over 100 million workers in India will be participating in the strike.
This strike will affect virtually all major industries in India. Already on board are public sector banks, port and dock leaders, railways, insurance, road transport, and the energy industry. The different labor unions have specific demands that they want to achieve with the strike. These include bringing contract and permanent workers to the same level of employee protection and benefits, amending the Minimum Wages Act to ensure universal coverage, removing ceilings on bonuses and provident funds, and amending the Trade Union Act to ensure registration of trade unions in a timely fashion.
The union leaders stated that this drastic measure was to put pressure on the government, which has been unresponsive to recent union concerns. Furthermore, the government has been curbing existing labour rights by making it more difficult to form unions, reducing social security and pensions, and not enforcing minimum wage requirements.
New Unionism article: Strike wave signals global shift