The major strike launched by university teachers in Sri Lanka on July 4th is gaining momentum. Their struggles are proving to be the single most sustained and nationally organised movement in Sri Lanka’s post-war years. This strike follows previous trade union action taken last year where the Heads of Departments of state universities resigned from their positions for several months. With the Government unheeding of their demands, the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) has reinitiated a full blown strike that is national in character with state universities from all regions of the country participating. Continue reading Can University Teachers Bend the Sri Lankan State?
Three short Video Testimonies from Suzuki Power Train and Maruti Suzuki (Manesar) Factory workers – Produced by CORRESPONDENCE DELHI, a group of young media practitioners, associated with the Radical Notes Collective, who have been tracking the workers struggle in Manesar. Courtesy, Correspondence Delhi. Continue reading Workers Speak – Suzuki Powertrain and Maruti-Suzuki Manesar: Correspondence Delhi
Here are two short articles, taken from the excellent Sanhati and Ludhiana Workers’ News by Saurav Banerjee and Amritpal (so after Faridabad and Gurgaon, yet another city gets its own workers’ newspaper !) Both point to spreading turbulence in Industrial areas in Ludhiana. The striking textile workers in Ludhiana explicitly invoke their solidarity with their comrades in Manesar in Haryana, and with female multipurpose health workers elsewhere in Punjab. Are we witnessing the beginning of a new reality? New solidarities? -Shuddha Continue reading After Maruti-Suzuki at Manesar, its Ludhiana: Sourav Banerjee and Amrit Pal
(this video, courtesy, Pratyush, Correspondence Delhi)
A big red river streamed out of the gates of Kamla Nehru Park in Gurgaon last evening (17th October, 2011). Several thousands of workers (according to one estimate – one hundred thousand workers), from many factories in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt had occupied the park from 4:00 pm onwards to stand in solidarity with the struggle of the Maruti-Suzuki, Suzuki Powertrain and Suzuki Motorcycle India Limited workers. In an unprecedented demonstration of solidarity, permanent workers are on strike to demand justice and re-instatement of their contract worker colleagues. The atmosphere at the meeting was of celebration, workers who had been occupying three different factories for more than a week had been evicted by an administration that had brought out all the police and coercive power at its disposal. But yesterday’s gathering was like a reunion, the workers of the three ex-occupied factories, and their comrades in other plants throughout the Gurgaon-Manesar belt were meeting, like old and new friends, to taste the heady experience of peacable solidarity. Continue reading A Big Red River: Solidarity Meeting with Maruti-Suzuki Workers
Appeal from the MSEU (Maruti Suzuki Employees Union) to All Trade Unions, Organisations and Individuals, by SHIV KUMAR, general secretary, MSEU, via Rakhi Sehgal of the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)
(Cross-posted from the Facebook group, Citizens Front in Support of Maruti Suzuki Workers’ Struggle.)
15th October 2011
We, the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU), Suzuki Powertrain India Employees Union (SPIEU) and Suzuki Motorcycle India Employees Union (SMIEU), have been on strike in our respective plants in Gurgaon-Manesar from the 7th of October, 2011, demanding our right to respectable and non-precarious employment and unionization. Our movement stands at a crucial juncture today, we therefore send this appeal to all the labouring people of the country and beyond, the trade unions and all other sections of society which have stood with us in solidarity to come forward with renewed vigour to take this movement forward. Our struggle is not a struggle for a mere wage-hike of any one section of workers, but is a struggle for our dignity and right to organise. We struggle also more importantly for the contract workers among us, whose insecurity and precarious condition of existence is a burning issue before the entire labouring people of the country today, which puts the very framing of the available labour laws into question.
It is not yet dawn, and I am wondering what is happening inside the Maruti Suzuki Factories in Manesar. How exactly is the Haryana Police, armed, along with its usual ordnance, with a High Court order, and the Haryana Labour Department’s ‘go ahead’, going about its stated business of ‘escorting’ a few thousand unwilling workers out of their factories under cover of darkness? Apparently, the factory fence has been layered with tent cloth. No light gets in, no light gets out. The Maruti Factories in Manesar have become black holes.They are producing more darkness than cars in Manesar tonight.
There is no way of knowing just what is going on inside. And yet, a few hundred surveillance cameras must be recording what the management, police, administration and ‘security personnel’ are doing to ‘convince’ the workers to leave. Someday, this archive, every inch of video footage, should be played and rewound repeatedly, in order to arrive at a clearer understanding of the evolution of class relations in the industrial belt around the National Capital Region in the second decade of the twenty first century in India. Unfortunately, I have a strong feeling that tonight’s footage is going to go where all inconvenient truths go – to the limbo of unsolicited erasure.
Guest post by NAYANJYOTI
(On behalf of Krantikari Naujawan Sabha, part of the solidarity effort with struggling workers of Maruti Suzuki.)
The struggle of the workers in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, IMT Manesar refuses to die, and just when quietening under settlement truce, has stood up again, gathering political edge and crucial concrete support among workers in the area. In a significant development this morning, 7th October 2011, the workers in seven nearby factories along with workers of MARUTI SUZUKI INDIA LTD, IMT MANESAR have gone on strike. These are workers in the nearby plants of SUZUKI POWERTRAIN INDIA LTD. and SUZUKI CASTINGS (Plot 1, Phase 3A), and SUZUKI MOTORCYCLE INDIA PVT. LTD (in the Gurgaon-Manesar road), along with the workers of LUMAX AUTO TECHNOLOGIES LTD (165, Sector-5), SATYAM AUTO COMPONENTS LIMITED (26 C, Sector – 3), ENDURANCE TECHNOLOGIES LTD ( Plot no. 400, Sector 8), HI-LEX INDIA PVT LTD, (Plot No.55 Sector-3) completely halting production. Continue reading Strike in Maruti-Suzuki and Seven Other Factories in Manesar: The Struggle Continues: Nayanjyoti
Manesar is an emerging industrial hub roughly fifty kilometers from Delhi. Factories rise along the co-ordinates of a neat grid, overshadowed by the rocky Aravallis. The world is made here – cars, bikes, semiconductors, automotive parts, electronics, telecommunications equipment. Manesar has a little bit of everything. Even a bomb data analysis centre and a brain research lab and a military school and a heritage hotel. On a Maruti Swift, speeding down National Highway 8 towards Jaipur, you could make it to Manesar from Delhi, through Gurgaon, in less than an hour. Maruti’s ads are all about speed and control. Speed and control will cruise you to Manesar.