Even as news of elections seemingly eclipses everything else in India. life, in the industrial suburbs of the National Capital Region, continues as usual. A report from Faridabad Majdoor Samachar. New Series 310, April, 2014.
Tendency 1 : Workers Do Not Leave the Factory
“Mar-Apr 2014: Plot 7, Sec 3, IMT Manesar, Napino Auto & Electronics Factory”.
On 24 March, workers of A, B and general shift stopped work and stayed on the shop floor. The same day, in the factory in Plot 31, Sec 8 of the same company, workers from three shifts also stopped work and stayed on the shop floor. And workers in the factory of this same company at 753-754 Udyog Vihar, Phase 5, Gurgaon, also stopped work and stayed on the shop floor. In all three factories, the women workers didn’t leave the shop floor at night. This is an expression of a radical transformation of the relations between women and men. In February 2014, in Baxter Pharma’s factory, 110 women and 140 men stopped work and stayed on the shop floor, refusing to buckle under the pressure of the management, labour department and police.
Starting from 24 March, 2014, in all the three Napino Auto and Electronics factories, men and women workers stopped work and stayed on the shop floor round the clock, and continued to do so on 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 March and 1 and 2 April. The misanthropic company stopped the canteens of all three factories. Workers of the C shift of all three factories, who were outside the factories, brought food. Workers of many other factories remained in constant touch with the workers inside these three factories, carrying on discussions with them, circulating word in other factories about what was going on, and helping out with food.
Similar happenings have occurred in the recent past in Maruti Suzuki Manesar, Suzuki Powertrain, Suzuki Motrocycle, Satyam Auto, Bajaj Motor, Endurance, Hailax, Lumex, Dighania, Hero Honda, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter, Harsurya Healthcare, Ametip Machine Tools.”
Tendency 2 : Workers Battle the Factory
“Friday, 28 March, 2014, 10.30 AM. Orient Craft Factory, Sec 18, Gurgaon”.
A tailor dies of electric shock from a machine in the factory. The company calls the police and declares that the worker died because of a heart attack. 1200 women and men workers of the factory rebel – first inside the factory, then out on the streets. Workers from other factories join them. 2.30 PM onwards, 3 ACPs, 1 DCP and police from half a dozen police stations from Sector 18 and from Gurgaon West Zone, Udyog Vihar, set up a barricade against the assembling workers. By 4 PM, stone pelting, lathi-charge, tear gas, firing starts. 1 ASP and and 10 policemen are injured, and 40 vehicles damaged. Many workers and hawkers are injured. Police registers case against thousands of workers. By now, many workers have been arrested, and countless others are being chased. According to the workers, a woman worker had similarly died of a sudden burst of current in a machine, on 26 March.
Two years ago, workers of the same company from the factory located in Sec 37, Gurgaon, had fought a pitched battle with the management and police. Recently, workers in Ghaziabad (Gragiano), in Faridabad (Lakhani Shoes), in IMT Manesar (Maruti Suzuki), in Noida, in Okhla Industrial Area, in the Prithla-Baghola area of Palwal (Shivani Locks, Bio Medical, Haryana Wire, Mahindra, Vamani Overseas, SKH, Auto Ignition) have also clashed with and battled factory buildings, managers and the police. These clashes are against and bring into view the dominant social relations that govern life today, and which managers, buildings and police are expressions of.”
Faridabad Majdoor Samachar is a workers newspaper that has been regularly published in Faridabad, Haryana, India since 1982