Unions, left-wing outfits demand release of Maruti workers


BS Reporter  |  New Delhi  May 20, 2013 Last Updated at 12:28 IST

Slam Police lathi-charge on demonstration by families of 147 workers arrested last July for Gurgaon violence

Police action against protesting workers of Maruti Suzuki in Kaithal in Haryana during the weekend has drawn criticism from trade unions and some left wing organisations, who have renewed demands to free the 147 workers arrested in July last year after the violence in the Gurgaon plant.

Police lathi-charged a demonstration of workers’ families outside the residence of Haryana Industry Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala and arrested about 100 workers and their family members from the dharna site at the Kaithal mini secretariat on the night of May 18. Workers had given an ultimatum on may 8 to release all 147 Maruti workers arrested after the July violence. They had threatened to demonstrate outside the house of Surjewala on May 18.

The workers and their family members have been sitting on a dharna at the Mini Secretariat from 28 April demanding release of the 147 workers in Gurgaon Jail and reinstatement of the workers, both permanent and contract, terminated without enquiry following the 18 July incident.

Said a senior trade union leader from All India Trade Union Congress: AITUC has expressed solidarity with the protesting workers.

He said that the unions formed at these factories are not affiliated with any central union and have been supported by various organisations including local political parties.

According to the New Trade Union Initiative a workers organisation that weaves together small groups and unions,  84 Sarpanches from across Haryana had extended their support to the Maruti Suzuki workers struggle at the last demonstration of the workers at Kaithal on 8 May, The Haryana Government has stopped the funds to these Panchayats. Thus it is using both brute force and its fiscal powers to obliterate the struggle of the workers and put down the solidarity and support mobilised by the Sarpanches across the state, NTUI said.

“We continue to stand in solidarity with the struggle of the members of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union and their demand for a fair inquiry, release of the arrested workers and reinstatement of the workers terminated after the 18 July 2012 incident. This struggle against capital and the complicit state is a critical turning point in upholding democratic rights of the working class,” a joint statement by four different organizations supporting Kaithal workers said. These are NTUI, Peoples Union for Democratic Rights, Association for Democratic Rights and People’s Union of Civil Rights.

 

#India – One woman doctor for entire district of Mewat #Believeitornot


Aditya Dev, TNN May 16, 2013,
GURGAON: There is an acute shortage of doctors in government hospitals of Mewat. Surprisingly, the district with the worst maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate, there is only one woman doctor available for the whole of Mewat. However, the apathy could be judged by the fact that the gynecologist has joined the health department only about 10 days ago.

The institutional delivery rate in Mewat is 42% implying only 42 out of 100 deliveries take place at hospital. A health official said these deliveries are done by staff nurses in absence of doctors. Sources said the health institutions are in a bad shape with two of the three community health centres (CHCs) at Punhana and Ferozepur Jhirka in the districts are without senior medical officers (SMOs) for a long time. In their absence, medical officers (MOs) have been made incharge of these CHCs.

Moreover, instead of two medical officers at each of 10 primary health centres (PHCs), there is only one medical officer appointed at present, said sources.

At CHC, Nuh, against the staff postings of 12 medical officers (MOs) and one SMO, there are only 3 MOs and one SMO are deputed.

The population of Mewat is 11 lakh and out of that 5.5 lakh alone lives in Nuh. In such a scenario, the medical facilities are too little to provide any kind of service to residents. A health official said the burden could be gauged that there should be one CHC over a population of 1.2 lakh. There is also a shortage of ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) in the district. ASHA, a trained female community health activist from the village itself who work as an interface between the community and the public health system, plays an important role in providing key services to mother and child and spread awareness. A health official informed that out of 1,200, only 500 are available in Mewat.

This is when the criteria of appointing an ASHA was relaxed from class VIII literate to just any woman who can carry basic duties. Even after that we have not been able to fill the postings, the official added.

When contacted, BK Rajora, chief medical officer, Mewat, said, “There is a shortage of doctors, but the government gives priority to their appointment in the district. The problem is that many of them do not join here even after appointment. What can one do in such a scenario? Doctors do not want to come because of basic living facilities in Mewat.”

The government is also providing difficult area allowance to doctors posted in Mewat, Rs 25,000 per month for specialist and Rs 10,000 per month for other doctors.

Rajora added that besides one gynaecologist joining the office, four doctors have been given training in this field and providing emergency services. There are 53 MOs available out of 79. Almost 50% of positions are filled.

 

Protests against Maruti Suzuki management and Haryana Government’s pro-capitalist stance


Check out video of the protests by Maruti Suzuki workers and activists in front of Haryana Bhavan in Delhi on May 18th:

Different organizations including Maruti Suzuki Workers Union, KNS (Krantikari Nawjana Sabha) and Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) have been behind the protests going on for several months against the repressive measures by the Maruti Suzuki Management as well as the Haryana government under Chief Minister Hooda. The Haryana Government has unleashed brutal aggression on the peaceful protesters, who have been demanding the immediate release of all those arrested under false premises, most recently on the night of May 19th, to prevent workers from joining a dharna the next day on May 20th. Despite the arrests to try and intimidate the Maruti Suzuki Workers and activists, the protest in front of Haryana Bhavan went on as planned. But once again the Hooda Government showed its true color by exposing its dirty nexus with the capitalists.

On May 20, when the protesters tried to reach the ministers’ office, they were attacked by policemen who lathicharged the unarmed protesters, injuring several of them, while some were reportedly arrested as well.

Maruti Suzuki Workers Protest

Photo Courtesy: Radical Notes

The demands are absolutely legitimate, since it is the legal and ethical right of workers to get organized. But the Maruti Suzuki management has created the trouble by not allowing the workers to form their new union. Instead, with help from the Hooda government, MarutiSuzuki management fired several permanent workers, who are still jobless (thanks to the jobless “growth” under the neo liberal economic onslaught anyway). Many workers  and activists have been threatened by the police and harassed, like arresting them from their homes and that too late at night. This naturally helps because when they nab the protesters individually, they are at their vulnerable most. Therefore, the workers are demanding immediate reinstatement of the fired permanent workers and making all the casual ones permanent with immediate effect. Activists suggest that this movement has been one of the brightest examples of working class unity in recent times, whereby not only casual workers’ rights have come to the fore from permanent workers but also the highly spirited way the workers are protesting from an anti capitalist viewpoint.

 

#India – Govt paid lawyer Rs 1.44 cr to fight Maruti Suzuki case #WTFnews


BT Online Bureau    Gurgaon   May 16, 2013
File photo of Maruti Suzuki's Manesar unit after the violence

File photo of Maruti Suzuki‘s Manesar unit after the violence. PHOTO: AP

The Haryana government paid Rs 1.44 crore as fees to Special public prosecutor K.T.S. Tulsi in the past six months for fighting the case against workers involved in the violence at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar unit last year.

In reply to a Right to Information application, Rajendra Pathak of All India Lawyers’ Union has said Tulsi was appointed by the Haryana government to fight the case against 147 workers prosecuted by the police for their involvement in the violence at the passenger car maker’s plant on July 18 last year. “He has been paid Rs 1,43,96,750”.

SPECIAL: Aroon Purie and Chaitanya Kalbag speak to Osamu Suzuki after Manesar violence

Tulsi was appointed by the state government in August last year. The violence at the Maruti Suzuki unit had claimed the life of a senior company official while about hundred others were left injured.

 

Joint Statement – Stop the Police Brutality Against Maruti Suzuki Workers


Joint Press Statement

Kaithal

19 May 2013:

 

                   

Stop the Police Brutality Against Maruti Suzuki Workers

The Haryana Government yet again in a brazen and outright cowardly manner has sought to protect the interest of capital and particularly the management of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd by refusing to allow the victimised workers and their families to undertake a peaceful demonstration planned for today which was expected to draw in ten thousand people from across the state.

A short while ago, police lathicharged a peaceful demonstration of workers families outside the residence of State Industry Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala. Scores have been hurt in the lathicharge and the demonstrators are being arrested.

The Haryana Government, on the eve of this peaceful protest at Kaithal, imposed IPC Section 144 in the town and arrested close to 100 workers and their family members from the dharna site at the Kaithal Mini Secretariat at 11:30 pm last night. Several more were picked up from the entry points to the town including the bus terminus this morning. The workers and their family members have been sitting on an entirely peaceful dharna at the Mini Secretariat from 28 April 2013 demanding release of the 147 workers in Gurgaon Jail and reinstatement of the workers, both permanent and contract, terminated without enquiry following the 18 July incident. Despite the heavy police mobilisation and barricades at entry points of the town, thousands of people from across Haryana have been pouring into the city to gherao the State Industries Minister, Randeep Singh Surjewala at his residence. Wives, mothers and sisters of workers are present in large numbers at this demonstration demanding a just inquiry and an end to the state effort at criminalisation of the workers.

Officers at Kaithal Civil Lines Police Station and at the Office of the Superintendent of Police refused to provide copy of the FIR or even provide details about the arrests since last night to us or even to the advocate of the workers and their families. They even refused to mention under what charges the arrests had been made and where the workers and others who were arrested were detained.

There were two other large demonstrations in Kaithal today – one to celebrate Parshuram Jayanti organised by the Brahmin Samaj addressed by the Haryana Industries Minister, Surjewala and another of the Haryana Janhit Congress. So, the imposition of Section 144 IPC was clearly aimed at denying the Maruti Suzuki workers and their families their democratic right to peaceful protest. The large police mobilisation with tear gas and water cannons was only aimed at the Maruti Suzuki workers.

84 Sarpanches from across Haryana had extended their support to the Maruti Suzuki workers struggle at the last demonstration of the workers at Kaithal on 8 May 2013. The Haryana Government has stopped the funds to these Panchayats. Thus it is using both brute force and its fiscal powers to obliterate the struggle of the workers and put down the solidarity and support mobilised by the Sarpanches across the state.  Elected representatives of the people are refusing to talk to citizens in their attempt to protect the interest of capital.

We continue to stand in solidarity with the struggle of the members of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union and their demand for a fair inquiry, release of the arrested workers and reinstatement of the workers terminated after the 18 July 2012 incident. This struggle against capital and the complicit state is a critical turning point in upholding democratic rights of the working class.
We support the demands of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union:

1. The Haryana Government must immediately stop the assault on the workers of Maruti -Suzuki.

2. The Haryana Government must immediately order an enquiry into the events at Kaithal in the last 24 hours.

3. Government of Haryana should withdraw all charges and release all Maruti Suzuki workers and their family members arrested at Kaithal in the last 24 hours.

4. Government of Haryana should not oppose the bail application of the 147 workers in Gurgaon jail following the 18 July incident.

5.  MSIL must reinstate all permanent workers who were summarily dismissed after the 18 July incident and regularise all contract workers who were on the rolls of the Company on 18 July 2012.

6. MSIL must negotiate in good faith with the MSWU.
Pritpal
Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR), Punjab

Ramesh
People’s Union of Civil Rights (PUCR), Kaithal, Haryana

Kulbir Singh and Ranjana Padhi

Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), Delhi

Gautam Mody

New Trade Union Initiative

 

Join GHERAO of Industries Minister residence on 19th May in Kaithal


MARUTI SUZUKI WORKERS UNION

Reg. no. 1923

IMT Manesar

 

Ref. No. …                                                                                                     Date: 18 May 2013

 

We appeal to all workers, workers and peasant organisations, trade unions and democratic forces and individuals to JOIN us in Kaithal at 11am on 19th May 2013, on our call to GHERAO of the residence of Industries Minister, Haryana, Randip Singh Surjewala.

On 8th May, the Mahapanchayat in Kaithal, which saw solidarity participation of more than 2000 people from across the state and country, gave a memorandum and an ultimatum to the Government of Haryana of 10 days from that date to heed to the demands of our struggle. 19th May will be the 57th day of the continuing dharna from 24 March 2013, throughout which we have only peacefully exercised our democratic right to protest (we were not allowed to even do a dharna in Gurgaon or Manesar). This included an 8-day fast-unto-death which we halted temporarily only after the assurance of the Chief Minister, Bhupiner Hooda that the government will favourably look into the demands and negotiation with the company restarted.

But the government has exposed itself by again paying scant regard to any of our demands. It has instead stepped up coercion on those who have come in our solidarity. The grants to 84 Village Panchayat sarpanch from across Haryana who came out in solidarity on 8th May in Kaithal have been stopped and they have been blacklisted for support to ‘anti-government activities’. Besides this, in an effort to stop our call for demonstration tomorrow, Section 144 has been slapped from 5pm on 18th May to continue till night 12 o’clock on 19th May, and hundreds of police in battle-gear and tear-gas have been posted threateningly next to the site of the dharna.

 

The government and its state administration has become pro-active to this degree to crush our struggle even after 10 months, when we fight for our legitimate demands of release of the jailed 147 workers, stop to police persecution and reinstatement of the terminated 546 permanent and 1800 contract workers. What it fears is the uncomfortable questions we have put before it, from our experience, that the scenario of decent employment is bleak and that the present model of development is essentially anti-worker and anti-people. Even as the government is supposed to represent our interests, what is fears is the unity of permanent and contract workers, the unity of common toiling people who have seen through its naked collusion with exploitative companies at the cost of our livelihood and dignity. And so throughout the phase of our struggle against the exploitation by the Maruti Suzuki company, we have continuously at all instances found the state administration and our elected representatives to bend over backwards to please the company management, and do all it could to repress our voices for justice.

 

JOIN us on 19th May 2013 at Kaithal to raise our voice against the exploitation by the Maruti Suzuki company and the open support that the Government of Haryana lends it, and demand immediate release of all 147 jailed workers, withdrawal of false non-bailable arrest warrants against 66 workers and all other fabricated cases, reinstatement of 546 permanent and 1800 contract workers, independent impartial enquiry into the incident of 18th July 2012.

 

 

Revolutionary Greetings

 

Provisional Working Committee

MARUTI SUZUKI WORKERS UNION

 


http://marutisuzukiworkersunion.wordpress.com/

Haryana Governor- intervene to prevent violence and repression in Kaithal


To

The Governer

Haryana

Dear Sir,

We are deeply disturbed at the news that around 120-50 Maruti Suzuki workers present in the dharna site in Kaithal on 18. 05.2013 night, have been picked up by the Haryana Police around 11.30 pm. It is a matter of extreme anguish in the way the present government of Haryana is allowing the repression of workers struggles and to punish those who are sympathetic to them.

We would like to bring to your notice that Maruti Workers’ Union had announced a Gherao in Kaithal tomorrow at the residence of Industries Minister – the government has responded by clamping down section 144 and has deployed policemen all over the town. This is likely to result in violence as the workers and their supporters are travelling long distances to show their solidarity and unnecessary repression of their planned programme is not going to generate positive feelings.

Already the stand off in Maruti has continued too long because of the unrelenting ways of the police and administration who are keeping hundreds of workers in jail and are ready to make fresh arrests in the murder case by keeping the charge sheet open.

Now the government has spread its tentacles to exclude 93 Gram Sabhas from Government aid because the Sarpanchs expressed solidarity with the union. This impinges directly on the democratic rights of the villagers. They are free to associate as per Indian Constitution.

Such pro-management measures on part of a democratically elected government are not acceptable. It is meant to safeguard the interests of Indian citizens particularly the economically weaker sections and not override all constitutional guarantees in the interest of foreign capital.

Please take urgent measures and ask the Chief Minister to exercise restraint and not crush the Dharna of the union. The need of the hour is for confidence building not further destruction of faith in lawful processes which have suffered a setback in all these months of joblessness and victimization of workers.

We demand immediate stop to any repressive actions on the part of the present government.

Release of all the workers detained and ask the government to set up a non-partisan mechanism to address workers’ grievances

 

issued by feminist group, women against sexual violence, human rights activists, orgtanistaions and individuals

 

Maruti Suzuki :Ignition Trouble And After


Outlook Magazine  | May 13, 2013

 

Panini Anand
Court time Maruti hands being brought for a hearing
labour: maruti
Ignition Trouble And After
Jail, families thrown into trauma, grim future: the sacked Maruti labourers still harried
Cruel figures
  • 1 death in Maruti’s Manesar plant, of its HR manager Awanish Kumar Dev in July 2012, which led to a one-month lockout.
  • 66 workers on the run; in all, numerous cases have been filed against more than 200 workers at the Manesar plant
  • 147 workers lodged in Bhondsi jail, Gurgaon, for the past 9 months, named in up to 12 charges of murder
  • 550 permanent workers “suspended” by Maruti; 400 of them are agitating for jobs and an impartial probe.
  • 2100 sacked contract workers, many unemployed, have been forced to hide their connection to Maruti

***

The Hammer Strikes

  • Hearings have just begun on the framing of charges in the Gurgaon session court
  • Statement of officers recorded in charge sheet, but no versions of workers
  • Two counter complaints from workers have named 17 officials of Maruti
  • Maruti seeking to dismiss 550 suspended workers from the Labour tribunal
  • New committee of disgruntled former workers in initial talks with Maruti

***

“Are you from Maruti, or the state police department?” asks a visibly frightened lady when we knock at the door of her house in Dhakal village, Jind district, Haryana. She’s Omi Devi, mother of Jiyalal, a 27-year-old ITI dipl­oma-holder and employee at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant till the horrific incidents of July 18, 2012. That day, an argument Jiyalal had (over a caste slur) with his supervisor is said to have been the trigger for the cataclysmic events that followed—worker protests turned violent, leading to the death of an HR manager Awanish Kumar Dev, sending 100 workers and officials to hospital and enforcing a month-long lockout.

For nine months now, Jiyalal—and 146 former Maruti workers—have been lodged in Bhondsi Jail of Gurgaon. “The only mistake my son made was to speak out against the abusive language and casteist remarks. Tell me, is it wrong to stand up against such humiliation?” asks Ram Pal, his 50-year-old father. Jiyalal was supporting a family of eight—which is still in a state of shock. Aman, his 15-month-old son, has no memories of his father; his wife Sonia still looks scared, and Omi Devi keeps on crying. “Once my son is out from the jail, I will never ever let him go to work in such inhuman companies.”

That might take a while—the human cost of this labour incident has been staggering and disproportionate to the one death. After all, 12 charges of murder and more (rioting with weapons, attempt to murder, unlawful assembly, and so on) have been imposed on 147 workers. FIRs have been lodged against another 66, who are on the run. Some 400 terminated workers are protesting in Haryana, seeking their rights and entitlements from Maruti Suzuki. And over 2,000 former contract and apprentice workers at the plant are trying to rebuild their lives in fear and anonymity.

Through their relatives, the workers in jail insist that they are not being treated fairly and that the “real conspirators and culprits are blaming the innocents”. The stories from behind the bars are depressing—of pregnant wives, ailing parents, starving families, malnourished children, debts and loans. “All requests of bail plea or the parole custody plea have so far been rejected. The situations at our homes are worsening day by day. We knocked at many doors—from the prime minister’s to those of local politicians—but nobody hears the pain of the poor,”  an accused worker told Outlook.

About a year back, violence broke out at Maruti’s plant in Gurgaon. Workers arrested then still see no hope ahead.

All this matters now because the hearings in the case in the sessions court, Gurgaon, began on May 1 (Labour Day, incidentally). The chargesheet, exceeding 400 pages, has been filed but workers and their counsel have declared it incomplete. “The challans have been given to us, but there’s no list of witnesses. They’ve given the pretext that it’s unsafe to disclose the names. And workers’ acc­o­unts have not been taken into consideration at all. Only statements by Maruti officials have been taken,” says Rohtak-based senior advocate Randeep S. Huda, who is representing these workers. After an argument over the chargesheet, the sessions court ordered  public prosecutor K.T.S. Tulsi to provide all documents to the workers’  counsel.Despite repeated requests, Maruti did not respond to a questionnaire from Outlook. Recently, the company appointed two top Japanese managers to tackle the HR and production facilities at the Manesar plant. Since the incident, the company has also raised wages for contract workers at the Manesar plant—a key demand behind the workers’ initial agitation.


Far away Jiyalal’s wife holds up his photo. (Photograph by Sanjay Rawat)

Also, of the 540 dismissed permanent workers of Maruti’s Manesar plant, 400 come from Haryana itself. Two districts—Jind (150 workers) and Kaithal (120 workers)—make up the maximum numbers. The terminated workers are sitting on an agitation at the district commissioner’s complex in Kaithal. Recently, they had a small victory: talks with the Maruti management in the last week of April, first since the incident in July 2012. Further talks had been sch­eduled for the first week of May.

The terminated workers are dem­anding an independent inquiry into the nine-month-old incident. When Outlook  visited the district collector’s complex in Kaithal, it found a clutch of workers, most of them in their 20s, eating, reading newspapers and discussing strategy (some of them had gone back to the villages for harvesting). “We started our agitation in Kaithal because Randeep Singh Surjewala, the minister of commerce and industries in Haryana, is from this place. Moreover, we have a base and big public support in this area. It has been more than a month and we have no money to go on with the protest. But villagers, people from the city and nearby areas are providing us food and other essential support,” says Katar Singh, member of the Provisional Committee of Sacked Maruti Workers.

It’s not easy: a new seven-member committee was formed in August last year. Two members of this committee are named in another FIR that has been lodged by the Maruti management; one of them has since been arrested, another is underground. Initially, the protest started in March outside the residence of Surjewala, but they were forced to leave. They then went to meet Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, who is from Hissar, in  Haryana. But despite their meeting him 13 times, he didn’t speak a word for them. Now they are prepared to fight on their own. Sitting below a photo of Bhagat Singh and a next to a CD player belting out revolutionary songs, Bharat Kumar, one of the agitators, spews bitterness: “We always looked towards Maruti as a home but they (the management) never accepted the workers as family members.”

Yashvir Malik, 26, is one of the workers sitting in protest in Kaithal. He comes from Sudkain Khurd, a border village between Jind and Kaithal districts. His father, Ram Kumar, is a farmer with a landholding of some 1.25 acres and heavily in debt. “Yashvir is our only hope for all that we need at this age. I have no work; one leg is weak after a bad accident. My wife, too, suffers from age-related problems, anxiety. But now my only son is jobless—who will marry him? See what they have done to us,” says Ram Kumar.

Maruti workers who lost their jobs protest outside the district collector’s office in Kaithal, Haryana.

Yashvir’s family—and other villagers—are firm on fighting for the rights of these youth from their area. Yashvir’s family comes from Malik khap—the biggest khap of Haryana. When asked about the Gurgaon khaps supporting Maruti’s management, Ram Kumar says, “Gurgaon is not Haryana. The politics of Haryana is decided more from our and nearby districts. The khaps there are looking to their own interests and they are speaking the same language as our chief minister, but this is not going to help them.” It’s evident that the workers are lobbying with khaps and other social, political forces to ensure pressure is put on the state government and the Maruti Suzuki management.It’s also clear that the agitating workers are feeling let down by the lack of support for their cause. “Mainstream parties from the state and the nation have not even issued any statement on the issue. The chief minister of the state is continuously defending the Maruti management and blaming the workers. It seems that the representatives are sold out. Instead of ensuring fair and accountable governance in the state and implementation of labour rights, they are blaming the victims of the capitalism,” says Huda.

Even those who have managed to find jobs are not finding it easy to adjust to the fear around their past. Another worker Sanjay (name changed)—who was a contract worker in the Manesar plant and has no charges against him in this case—now works for a manufacturing unit in Gurgaon. “It was my first job at Maruti but I can’t tell anyone about it. If I had done so, it would have been impossible to get this job. I don’t want my new company to harass me, managers to distrust me and police to embarrass me without any reason,” says Sanjay, adding that “my present job is my first job now”. Not everyone among the 2,100 contract and apprentice workers is as lucky as Sanjay—many of them are still struggling to find jobs. The ones who have managed to do so are working for less than the minimum wages for unskilled labour.

The workers in jail have filed two counter cases against 17 Maruti Suzuki officials. The complaint by Jiyalal is pending in the court—if cleared, it might send some Maruti officials to jail under laws against inflicting atrocities upon SC/STs. In the first round of talks between workers and the management, Maruti officials insisted that workers should take back their counter complaints. In return, the workers asked the management to take them back, get innocent workers released and enforce a fair enquiry into the case. Both sides say that talks were “productive”—but it is starkly evident who is in control in this battle of unequals.

 

Australia – The identity of Indian student who fell to his death revealed


Indian student identified in Pelham St death

Posted by Karen Poh on April 24, 2013

THE man who fell to his death from the balcony of a Pelham St accommodation in Carlton has been identified as 20-year-old international student from India Anubhav Singh Gahlot. Karen Poh reports. 

Anubhav-Singh-Gahlot

Anubhav Singh Gahlot. Source: Facebook

The dead body found outside a Pelham St student accommodation in Carlton last Saturday April 20 has been identified as Indian international student Anubhav Singh Gahlot.

While police have not released any details, it is believed the 20-year-old from RMIT University fell from the balcony of his Micasa8 apartment and died on the spot.

A reader, Ben, who left a comment on Meld’s websiteafter the news first broke, said he was there when the incident happened.

“The fall happened around 1:28 pm unfortunately. I was hoping the guy made it because I couldn’t stay back for long,” he wrote.

According to the Hindustan Times, the Bachelor of Business Studies student is the son of reputed developer Dayanand Singh Gahlot in Gurgaon, India. The Gahlot family owns Ambience Mall and Ambience Lagoon Apartments in Gurgaon.

RMIT University Dean of Students Professor Owen Hughes said the university was “giving authorities every assistance with their enquiries into this incident”.

“The RMIT University community is shocked and saddened by the death of Anubhav Singh Gahlot. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” Prof Hughes said.

“Students and staff members affected by the tragedy are being offered counselling.”

source- http://www.meldmagazine.com.au/2013/04/indian-student-identified-pelham-st-death/

 

Maruti Suzuki Workers Union pamphlet on the occasion of May day


April 30, 2013

[Note from Maruti Suzuki Workers Union : We are currently on an indefinite dharna in Kaithal, Haryana since 24 March 2013, which included an 8-day Hunger Strike, and will continue until our demands are met. Please join us, in large numbers on 8th May 2013 in Kaithal (in front of the D.C. Office) for a program and rally to take the struggle forward.]

sitin2

Make Stronger the Unity of the Workers of GurgaonManesarDharuhera-Bawal and the Toiling Masses of Haryana !

On the occasion of May Day, take the pledge to challenge the attack of the Capitalists and the Government which serves their interests !

Friends and Comrades,

Our experiences in struggle since 4th June 2011 provide us with the realization of a renewed importance of May Day and its glorious history. Moulded and tempered in the hearth of the struggle against exploitation and repression, the meaning of this history confronts us with an immediacy and concreteness today.

Exploitation and unceasing exploitation, struggle and repression: what all have we not witnessed during the space of these two years! On the strength of our unity and the solidarity of the workers of the industrial belt of Gurgaon-Manesar, after three phases of strike actions in 2011, we finally formed our Union in March 2012. This expression of our collective strength was unbearable to the management of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Manesar and the state administration, who, to break this unity, as part of the conspiracy of 18th July 2012, declared us to be mindless criminals and terminated the jobs of 546 permanent and around 1800 contract workers. Along with this, 147 of our innocent fellow workers were thrown into jail, who continue to languish there, while non-bailable arrest warrants were thrust on 66 of us. An atmosphere of terror through continuous police repression and administrative intransigence firmly on side of the company management has been hounding us ever since. When we look at the horrible exploitative conditions of work of our fellow workers inside the factory today, the rationale behind the lies and fabrications of the company’s narrative around 18th July 2012 become clear to us. The workers working inside the factory today are bereft of all the rights that we won during the first phase of our struggle. Fewer workers than earlier toil harder than before. When even as much as an inkling of a renewed attempt to raise our voice, to establish our Union inside the factory came, 13 of the more active workers were promptly transferred to various corners of the country, and the attempt crushed there itself. So much for ‘everything’s under control’ in the Maruti’s ‘way of life’!

In this entire chain of events, rather than protect the rights of workers, we’ve found that the Government of Haryana has stood firmly on the side of the labour law-flouting, exploitative and illegal mechanisms of the Maruti company management. These ministers who make thousands of false promises just before the elections, have told us on many occasions that they cannot go against the ‘interest’ of the company. Without any impartial investigation, they declared us to be guilty and convicted. Thousands of policemen were posted to hound and repress our peaceful struggle. In order to ensure that our demands for our democratic rights do not reach the broader working masses of industrial belt in other factories, for the last nine months, the Haryana administration has effectively banned all dharnas and rallies in the Manesar area. They have even arrested some of our comrades for the ‘crime’ of distributing pamphlets with demands of workers! Our legitimate demands are such an eye sore to the Haryana government, that they did not give permission to hold even a dharna in front of the office of the Gurgaon D.C., and even our ongoing dharna in front of residence of Industries Minister, R.S. Surjewala in Kaithal has been sought to be crushed through various mechanisms.

In the light of the challenges that we faced in these last two years, when we remember the legacy of May Day, we feel an iron resolve in our hearts to take the struggle to its logical direction. On 1st May 1886, 80000 workers in Chicago had taken to the streets with the demand of an 8-hour working day, establishing the firm legacy of May Day. After this, the working class movement gained many successes. Even after this long militant history, today we find the larger section of the workers toiling day and night on 12-16 hour shifts under the vise-like grip of the illegal contract worker system. Workers are pitched against each other under the pain of unemployment, and the broad working masses find their lives deteriorating by the day for the profit of a handful of capitalists. To break the vicious cycle of capitalist exploitation, our previous generations have left us a strong legacy of militant struggle. Today when the capitalist regime and the government which is hand-in-glove with it, is making an all-out effort to snatch the gains of this legacy, we have to assume serious responsibility and resolve to protect these gains and take forward the workers movement with its new challenges.

During the space of our struggle, we have witnessed how the owners disregard and actively fight against our legitimate rights, even against the fundamental right to freedom of association and formation of Union to all others. Our movement has had two primary demands – the right to organize and complete abolition of the illegal contract worker system. Both these demands are well within the ambit of our Constitutional rights, but not only the company management, but even the media and the government which stands on the basis of the Constitution has continuously tried to suppress this. After the formation of our Union in March 2012, the Maruti company management flatly refused to even negotiate on our demand of regularizing contract workers in our Charter of Demands. The owners cannot tolerate the unity of permanent and contract workers. While the contract worker system has on the one hand become the principal basis of profit extraction from the cheap, insecure labour for capitalists today, it is at the same time becoming the main reason of the miserable conditions of workers in the country and worldwide. This is the main weapon in the hands of the capitalists to divide the workers movement. We can only face this by generalizing our unity and make our struggle against the segmentation between permanent and contract workers more resolute. We have learnt this lesson from our struggle.

Comrades, May Day is the celebration of the collective power arising from the unity of workers! But this unity is today in a precarious condition and we are faced with many difficulties while confronting this task of rebuilding our unity. The ever-worsening conditions of work and life are being responded to by the eruption of anger and unrest by workers all over the country. Despite the emergence of these mostly spontaneous bursts of anger, we feel that an able and responsible leadership organically linked with these aspirations and with the correct direction, is lacking which can take these agitations to the logical militant direction that they demand. To establish the unity of permanent and contract workers, a lot still requires to be done. While in the last phase we have witnessed the formation of Unions in some factories here and there, there remains a glaring need to form an even stronger unity among workers across various factories. Owing to these problems, even struggles which are militant in their initial phase, face disappointment and are forced to come to a compromise. Today, the Gurgaon-Manesar-Dharuhera-Bawal industrial area is among the main centers of industrial production in the country. The working masses here have had experiences of many big movements in the area. In this scenario, it is important that we imbibe the knowledge gleaned in these struggles and make an uncompromising attempt to seek out solutions to the challenges we face, and also take it forward to the working masses of the entire country. Any exploitation of workers anywhere is an attack on the entire workers movement. To build up a concrete militant unity against this, is our primary aim. We want to place this task before the working class of the entire country today on the occasion of May Day, and pledge ourselves completely to work towards this aim.

Inquilab Zindabad! Mazdoor Ekta Zindabad!

MARUTI SUZUKI WORKERS UNION

Released by the Provisional Working Committee, MSWU, Manesar, Gurgaon

 

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