Workers of Maruti’s Manesar plant, who were terminated following the violence on July 18, began a dharna in front of the Gurgaon Court/District Commissioner’s Office on Wednesday morning, even as tension was palpable in the area.
“The police came in the morning and pulled off the tents from the site. The workers, about 350 in number, had to re-install the tents and the dharna has begun. More workers will join later ,” alleged Satbir Singh, President, Haryana CITU. Many central unions such as the AITUC and CITU, as well as Maruti’s Gurgaon union have pledged their support to the protest.
“While we will not take part in the hunger strike, we will join them in the protest rally to be held after it as a mark of support,” Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union General Secretary Kuldeep Janghu told a news agency on Tuesday.
In a release, the MSWU has demanded an independent impartial probe into the July 18 incident, and into the role of the management in it, the immediate release of all arrested workers, reinstatement of all 546 terminated workers among others.
The release issued on Tuesday by the provisional working committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers’ Union (registration no. 1923) said the united protest action was to seek justice for 149 workers ‘languishing’ in Gurgaon Central Jail for the last three-and-a-half months, and the 546 permanent workers who have been terminated from their jobs. It said the 149 workers would go on hunger strike inside Gurgaon jail.
“We have the solidarity of the around 2,000 contract and casual workers who have also been unceremoniously thrown out of their jobs,” the release , signed by Imaan Khan, Ram Niwas, O. P. Jat, Katar Singh, Yogesh, Raj Pal, and Mahabir said.
On Thursday, the workers plan to take out a rally in the area to submit a memorandum to the local Minister. They said they were forced into this protest action as the workers’ family members, relatives and well-wishers had given umpteen memorandums to all the Ministers in the State but in vain.
“The entire leadership (of MSWU) was put behind bars and is being portrayed as ‘killers’ without any impartial investigation, and complete silence on the role played by the Maruti management,” the release said.
Meanwhile, trade unions have condemned the Maruti Manesar management for ‘operating under police cover’. “This is a complete violation of all democratic norms in the country,” Singh said.
A Special Investigation Team formed by the Haryana Government has reportedly concluded that the violence at the plant on July 18, in which an HR manager was killed, was due to internal issues between the management and workers. It is said to have ruled out external influence, as suspected by the company.
- Press Release-The Maruti Suzuki Workers Union – protest dharna and hunger strike @Nov 7&8 (kractivist.wordpress.com)