8th Day of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU)’s Jan Jagaran Pad Yatra (Public Awareness Foot March), Kaithal-Delhi (15th-31st January)
New Delhi (Press Release): The foot-march against injustice Jan Jagaran Yatra through villages and towns across Haryana has reached Rohtak on its 8th day. We shall organize a sabha, public meeting in Mansarover Park in Rohtak city in the morning tomorrow (23rd January). Rohtak has been advertised as having seen so-called ‘development’ being Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda’s hometown. Its IMT also houses the factory Maruti Suzuki R&D Centre. But our Jan Jagaran Yatra exposes the hollowness of such development, based as it is on the jailed, terminated, jobless youth of the state. Maruti Suzuki’s practical model of ‘Research and Development’ was tested on us when 546 permanent and 1800 contract workers were terminated from our jobs from Maruti Suzuki Manesar plant. This ‘development’ is further secured by the government when, without any proper or impartial investigation, it throws 148 workers in jail and denies us bail for the last 18 months. When the government appoints a lawyer for crores of rupees on each hearing to file cases against workers and justify everyday harassment of workers families at the behest of the company management, then we realise that it is a government of the capitalists, not of workers and ordinary toilers.
We started our Padayatra on 15th January from Kaithal and have reached Rohtak today 22nd Jan, walking through Jind on 19th Jan, Gatoli and Julana on 20th, Qila Jafargarh, Lakhan Majra and Bhagwatipur yesterday. Maruti workers and families of arrested workers are walking with us through village after village. We are taking the message of our struggle against exploitation heaped on us organising nukkad sabhas wherever our march is going through. Rajpal of MSWU said in a sabha in Titoli on the Rohtak-Jind road, “You might be thinking where in this shivering winter and weather of elections, are these workers walking to? We want to tell you that we have been forced on this path of struggle to demand the release of 148 workers who are languishing in jail for the last 18 months for no fault of theirs other than the demand of formation of Union and regularisation of contract workers. Because we raised the issue of exploitative work conditions inside the factory, we have been targeted.” Wherever our Padayatra has gone, people have come out in support, even arranging food and lodging for all the padayatris. The government has tried to use its muscle and repressive power even during the padayatra. CID and police personnel have been constantly following our trail, and even threatened sarpanch (village heads) in Kithana and Gatoli villages against providing us any support. In all other villages, Panchayats helped us, and where they did not, the local people defied these sarpanches who fear their patronage of the anti-people government masters, and willingly gave us not only food and places to stay, but even solidarity and strength to our struggle.
Other than MSWU, organizers and people from various mass democratic organisations like Jan Sangharsh Manch, Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra, Krantikari Naujawan Sabha, Samtamulak Mahila Sangathan, CITU, Khet Mazdoor Union, Sarva Karamchari Sangh and many others came in support. We have been getting and will continue to get solidarity from many such organisations in the coming days. They also pointed out that similar situation of exploitation and injustice, and struggle against the same is going on at present across the state of Haryana, not to mention all over the country. The struggle of workers in Gurgaon-Manesar belt, with ongoing strike of workers in Autofit factory and recent unrest in Munjal Kiriu, Baxter and other factories point to this fact. Workers in Haryana Roadways, Electricity Board workers, Anganwadi and Asha workers, computer teachers, library instructors and many others are on strike. They are all our brothers and sisters, and point to the dark side of the so-called ‘development model’ and the Chief Minister’s hollow claims of ‘Haryana no.1’.
In the last three years and specially in the last 18 months, 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. After our sabha in Rohtak’s Mansarover park at 10am tomorrow, our Padayatra shall go on through Jhajjar (Digal, Chamanpur, Gudda, Dadri Toi) from 23rd to 26th and reach Gurgaon on 28th where workers and trade unions will join us. On 29th Jan, we shall go on to Delhi where student-youth organisations are organizing a program at JNU, and on 30th Jan, we shall march through Delhi. On 31st Jan, we are organizing a day-long sabha in Jantar Mantar. We appeal to all workers, trade unions, student-youth and women’s organisations, and mass and democratic organizations to join us, and spread the struggle.
Issued by Ramniwas, Mahabir, Rajpal, Katar, Yogesh,
Provisional Working Committee, Maruti Suzuki Workers Union
Contact: 08901127876, 9560564754, 9466167876/ firstname.lastname@example.org