New Delhi (Press Statement): Sixteen days across cities, towns, villages of Haryana and through Gurgaon and Delhi, marching with our bare but united voice of anger and struggle against injustice, we organized a Protest Demonstration in Jantar Mantar today 31st January 2014. We marched from in front of the Parliament House, Delhi, also sloganeering in front of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda’s residence before reaching Jantar Mantar. Today’s show of solidarity with our struggle enthused us, as all Trade Unions of Gurgaon, Delhi-NCR and a number of student-youth, women’s and mass democratic and political organisations, as well as prominent intellectuals came together. We submitted a memorandum supported by all organisations to the President of India.
Workers, workers organisations and Trade Unions were present in full solidarity. Suzuki Powertrain India Employees Union, Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union, Suzuki Motorcycles India Employees Union, RICO Employees Union, FCC Rico Employees Union, Nerolac Employees Union- Rewari, Venus Workers Union-Faridabad, Subros Employees Union, Bajaj Motors Employees Union spoke in solidarity. National Trade Union federations like AITUC, AICCTU, AIUTUC, CITU, HMS, ICTU, IFTU, AIFTU(New), NTUI and others were present. Among those present were also AITUC’s national president Amrajeet Kaur and CITU’s national leader Tapan Sen.
Yogendra Yadav as well as Arundhati Roy also expressed solidarity with the struggle. Mass democratic organisations like Jan Sangharsh Manch Haryana, Inqlabi Mazdoor Kendra, Shramik Sangram Committee, Krantikari Naujawan Sabha, Mazdoor Patrika, Sangharsrat Mehnatkash patrika, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, PUDR, Samtamulak Mahila Sagathan were present who mobilized many democratic loving people. Solidarity greetings from across the country and even abroad came with participation and solidarity messages from a number of worker organisations like CMM- Mazdoor Karyakarta Committee, Inqlabi Jan Awaz patrika from Punjab, Hyundai Motors Employees Union and CITU Tamil Nadu, Toyota Employees Union Chennai, and countless others. Trade Union Solidarity Committee- Mumbai also organized campaign and fund collection through postcards made with working class murals. We also received solidarity greetings from Thai Suzuki Workers Union from Thailand. Support from student community also energized the meeting. Other than JNUSU, organisations like AISA, DSF, DSU, Nauroj, Pratidhwani, SFI, TNM, VSM, VYS and many others were present. The struggle on the streets as well as the legal battle is alive with the spirit of workers and pro-worker masses strengthened.
The Jan Jagaran Yatra, foot-march against injustice, which started on 15th January 2014 from Kaithal, Haryana and walked through 300km across Kaithal, Jind, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Gurgaon in Haryana before reaching Delhi. All the terminated workers and a number of our families of both arrested and terminated workers participated with vigour in the march. 2500 families who have been reduced to penury, joblessness and face continuous harassment and repression from the police-administration and delay in justice, hence a denying of justice by the courts till date, have thus shown the indomitable spirit of struggle even almost 2 years into this difficult road. We have received tremendous support, solidarity and encouragement from ordinary workers, peasants, students and individuals in all the villages, towns of the state of Haryana and nearby areas that we have walked through. These ordinary mehnatkash toilers tell us during the season of electoral calculations, that our struggle is a just struggle against exploitation and injustice wrought about the combined might of the government-administration-police serving capitalists like Maruti Suzuki management. Our bail plea of arrested 148 workers has been earlier rejected in the lower court and HC on the absurd ground of ‘hampering foreign investment’ make a mockery of the system of justice.
The appeal against this rejection is pending in the Supreme Court, with a hearing that happened today postponed again to 3rd February 2014. Representing the State of Haryana on a payroll of Rs. 11.25 lakh per hearing, Adv. KTS Tulsi presented his papers of objection to the bail plea while our counsel Adv. Vrinda Grover argued the delaying and denying of justice to workers who have been made part of conspiracy by the Maruti Suzuki management. Cases against 100 workers and trial on 11 workers and activists in Kaithal are also going on. The labour cases are also pending where we are arguing against the complete illegality of the move of Maruti Suzuki management to have terminated workers without any domestic enquiry on speculative flimsy grounds.
We marched through Delhi yesterday. While in Gurgaon, hundreds of workers and all Trade Unions came in our support making the struggle the indicator of common struggle of workers in the entire industrial belt of Gurgaon-Manear-Dharuhera-Bawal, in the rousing welcome and solidarity meetings in various towns and villages of Haryana and in Delhi, we saw another possibility of forging a mass solidarity with the struggle of workers.
Day before, after our protest demonstration in front of the Maruti Suzuki factory in Gurgaon along with workers and Union from the plant, we walked to the Maruti Suzuki All-India Head Quarters in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, where we organized another protest demonstration with slogans of ‘Release the Arrested Workers’ and ‘Stop Repression through slapping false cases and continued Harassment of worker families’, ‘Bring the conspiratorial anti-worker management to book’. Our demand of an impartial investigation into the incident which has also been denied us, point to the way in which we have been targeted by the anti-worker management and the anti-worker government.
WE reiterate our demands of release of 148 arrested workers who have been denied bail for the last 18 month, reinstatement of all terminated workers, and an impartial investigation into the incident of 18th July 2012. In the last three years, our struggle has seen a long road. We have seen the pro-corporate, anti-worker, anti-people faces of the company management, labour and other administrative departments, the police and courts, and if our demands are not met, we shall intensify our struggle in the coming says. We appeal to all workers, trade unions, student-youth and women’s organisations, and mass and democratic organizations and individuals to join us in spreading the struggle.
(Ramniwas, Mahabir, Rajpal, Katar, Yogesh)
Provisional Working Committee
Maruti Suzuki Workers Union