Maruti Workers wage battle for Re-Instatement 

Maruti Workers

The sacked workers of the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki, one of the country’s largest car manufacturers, have been relentlessly demanding reinstatement for the past 10 years. Even after continuous protests, the management refuses to discuss the issue of reinstatement of the workers.

On February 15, the sacked workers of Maruti relentlessly waged a sit-in protest by taking out a procession to the Gurgaon DC office. They are refusing to buckle, under any terms,or under any pressure.

About 100 permanent workers, 150 dismissed workers and about 20 such workers from the Manesar-based Maruti plant participated in it, who were fired after the 2012 incident and had to face imprisonment.

Significantly, after the violent incident in Maruti in 2012, the company had sacked 546 permanent workers and 1,800 contract workers with no intimation, citing ‘loss of confidence’.

Since then the demand for reinstatement has been raised on behalf of these permanent and contract workers. Now that the rest including 13 labourers have been acquitted, this demand has again arrived on the surface.

Khushiram, a leading leader of the Maruti movement and a member of the Provisional Committee, has been resiliently demanding the reinstatement of the workers.

For the last 10 years, the dismissed labourers are demanding reinstatement unflinchingly. However the attitude of the management and administration always turn sit’s back.

He said that if the fight of the dismissed workers is to be waged then it is imperative to unite the scattered workers first. There has been considerable improvement in this regard as compared to earlier.

Khushiram said that compared to the two-day hunger strike organized in October last year, fewer workers took part.

He stated that it is also a matter of victory for the movement of the dismissed workers.

Khushiram said that he would give priority to work on a plan to collect the scattered workers. When this task is fulfilled, a huge demonstration will be organized.

It is worth mentioning that in the march organized on February 15, on the call of Maruti Suzuki Mazdoor Sangh (MSMS), Maruti workers who were dismissed in 2012, workers employed in the plant, struggling contract workers of Hitachi and Sunbeam and workers of Maruti’s vendor plant Belsonica, participated.

Along with this, leaders of other plants of Maruti and Hero’s union and various central trade unions also registered their presence in the demonstration.

Representatives of various constituent organizations of Mazdoor Adhikar Sangharsh Abhiyan (MASA), including Jan Sangharsh Manch Haryana, Mazdoor Sahyog Kendra, Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra, Iftu (Proletariat), Gramin Mazdoor, registered support being for the terminated workers’ struggle engulfing the entire  country. Along with this, labour rights activists engaged in various struggles like Shramik Sangram Samiti, KNS and workers dismissed from Maruti in 2000 movement also participated.

Meanwhile, Manesar Maruti Car Plant head Pawan, Powertrain head Manoj and Maruti Gurgaon plant Rajesh promised complete support to the retrenched workers by coordinating between all the plants.

The Unity of workers Unions from different spheres to confront the injustice perpetrated is a positive feature, as well as binding scattered workers together. Today managements are virtually awarded unlimited power and without any discretion, sack workers. Strategies have to be chalked out to pose a serious challenge to the barbaric methods of sacking workers, which receive patronage from corporate forces.

Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist who has covered mass movements around India

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