Preliminary report of the findings of the INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON LABOUR RIGHTS, released on 31 May 2013, New Delhi
The International Commission for Labor Rights (ICLR) constituted a team of lawyers and trade unionists from France, Japan, South Africa, the USA and India to investigate the incidents that led to the summary dismissal of over 500 permanent workers and over 1800 contract workers at the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) in August 2012. The team was constituted to bring international law and policy perspectives to bear on a situation that has festered for almost a year, with – at a minimum – 147 workers in jail over that period. The Commission reminds the Government of India that, under well-recognised international and domestic principles, “justice delayed is justice denied.”
The group also brings important comparative perspectives on the current or proposed role of this company in the global economy. MSIL has a parent company in Japan, substantial exports to Africa and Europe, a proposed assembly plant in South Africa, and an investor base in the United States – understanding the company’s practices in India is an imperative for those committed to corporate accountability and sustainable development jurisdictions outside India. Continue reading Workers in Maruti Suzuki Manesar plant – Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: ICLR→
My name is… let that be. Maruti Suzuki is out to get me, not because I did anything but because they want to put virtually every worker in jail, even those who belonged to the third shift and were not even present when violence took place in the Manesar factory on 18 July. I was present there and will tell you what happened, but to understand it you will have to let me begin from the beginning. Read more…
Statement issued by NEW TRADE UNION INITIATIVE on the incidents at Maruti-Suzuki’s Manesar Plant
Dated 19 July, 2012, New Delhi
The present spate of violence at the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki as a fallout of a protest by workers against a casteist comment made by a supervisor at a dalit worker reflects the continuing use of ‘caste’ as a method of subordination and oppression reflecting the persistence of deeply rooted primordial structures of society that complement capitalist exploitation. When co-workers protested, the management suspended the abused worker and refused to re-instate him and instead resorted to brutal violence, orchestrated by goons, against the workers and targeting the union leaders.
It is important to note that the Maruti Suzuki management is yet to constitute the Grievance Redressal Committee and the Welfare Committee at its Manesar plant which was agreed upon after the last dispute in October 2011. The present dispute is a well planned instigation by the management to systematically derail the ongoing negotiations on the Charter of Demands submitted by the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union in April 2012 and to discredit the sustained and united struggle of the workers at the Manesar plant. Continue reading Resisting Caste Violence – Facing Brutal Repression: NTUI on Maruti-Suzuki→
It has been a long time in the making. The violence at Maruti-Suzuki’s Manesar plant on 19 July 2012, that led to the ghastly killing of the general manager, Awanish Kumar Dev was waiting to happen. While the killing was gruesome, I believe this is merely a ‘freeze shot’ of a larger film that has been playing for a very long time now. While it is the media’s wont to focus only on these moments of spectacular violence and then dish out reports from handouts provided by managements and the police, sometimes, such moments of conflagration do illuminate what has been in the dark for so long.
What follows below is an attempt to think through some of the issues that seem to me to lie at the bottom of the violent event. The ‘violent event’ here is not simply what took place in Maruti-Suzuki’s Manesar plant now; it is rather a shorthand for the whole series of such conflagrations that have been taking place over the past few years in the National Capital Region (NCR) – starting with Honda Motors and Scooters 2005, Graziano Trasmissioni 2008, and many others since – Rico Auto Industries, Pricol Ltd and so on. The struggle in Honda Motors that had been brewing for a long time had eventually spilled over into a series of public protests with severe police violence in the full glare of the media. Things have never been the same in the entire belt since. Rico Auto Industries incident in September-October 2009 subsequently became an important milestone – galvanizing as it did a number of other workers’ strikes. There it had started when the workers struck work after 17 of their colleagues had been dismissed ‘on disciplinary grounds’. Actually, the workers rightly felt that this was to quash their attempt to form a union. And while the workers were protesting at the gate, a group of hired goons attacked them, killing one of the workers and injuring many others. In the Graziano Trasmissioni the issue of contention was the reinstatement of 136 dismissed workers which led to a massive unrest in the unit in Greater NOIDA, leading eventually to an incident not very different from the present one. Continue reading Some Reflections on Capital and the Workers’ Movement After Manesar→