MSWU Press Release: 17th July 2013
We the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union in our General Body meeting in the evening of 17 July 2013 in Gurgaon Sector-5 have decided to go ahead with our peaceful demonstration and indefinite Hunger Strike on 18th July 2013 in IMT Manesar, Gurgaon. We have decided to gather at Leisure Valley Park at Sector 29, Gurgaon at 9am in the morning and take out a foot march of 20kms towards Manesar, to hold our peaceful demonstration at Tau Devilal Park, IMT Manesar. Our spirits are high with the resolve to carry forward our struggle in the face of continuous repression by the administration-police-government, which is acting only in favour of the interests of the Maruti Suzuki management.
We are acting well within our democratic and fundamental right to organize and protest. The administration has meanwhile been taking out a misinformation campaign of a possible confrontation with a few village heads that they will not let us hold any demonstration at the proposed venue. We have complete solidarity of common villagers and have had support of over hundred 150 panchayats. Villagers near the plant in IMT Manesar sent us solidarity greetings and even took our posters to put it up themselves on 16th July when we went to IMT Manesar to put up posters. The supposed opposition comes from a few businessmen, contractors and landlords who parrot what the company management wants them to.
Meanwhile with this supposed threat to disruption of public peace, over 2000 police personnel and paramilitary have been stationed in the park itself, while Gurgaon has literally been turned into a military fortress, with flag marches led by the Police Commissioner himself, water cannons and tear gas vehicles stationed at every corner and well over ten thousand police personnel at the ready. We however have stated and will act within our democratic legal and constitutional rights, and this huge deployment of forces and creation of a tense military atmosphere is against our basic fundamental right to stage protests against continuous injustice meted out to us.
Manesar has since the past one year been turned into a zone where workers work not only under exploitation of the hard working conditions and low wages and divide and rule policies of the company managements but also under constant threat of being fleeced and threatened by local landlords and under heavy menacing police presence and there is no semblance of any democratic atmosphere.
This has been also increased in recent times with the misinformation campaign by the Maruti company and the government blaming us workers for the death of one pro-worker manager Awanish Dev last year on 18th July. We have thus been criminalized without any investigation and we hold the company to be responsible for this as part its conspiracy to break our spirit of unity. We demand that the true facts of this case come out in the public and the general public and the judiciary take note of our voice. We will mark a year of our struggle, a year of jail without bail of 147 of our brethren, sleepless nights for 66 workers with non-bailable warrants on them, a year without jobs for 2300 of us, a year of economic devastation of thousands of our families with our dharna and hunger strike tomorrow.
For our just struggle, we have received support of workers in the belt and across the country, local and national Trade Unions, workers and peasantsí organizations and panchayats, students, lawyers and common toiling people and many individuals. Simultaneous solidarity demonstrations have been and will be staged jointly by Trade Unions and others pro-worker forces before and on 18th July 2013 in Ludhiana and Chandigarh, in Chennai, Bangalore, Bhillai, Kolkata and many other places besides demonstrations across Haryana. Those in Delhi will join us in Gurgaon.
1. Release all arrested workers and activists and take back all fabricated cases. Release the 147 workers who are in Gurgaon Jail without any bail for last 1 year, and the 10 workers and sympathizers who are in Kaithal Jail for last two months on fabricated cases.
2. Reinstate all terminated workers of Maruti Suzuki Manesar, Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd and Suzuki Motorcycles India Ltd.
3. Institute an independent impartial inquiry into the incident of 18th July 2012.
Mahabir, Katar, Rajpal, Yogesh
(Provisional Working Committee)
Maruti Suzuki Workers Union