People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 43

October 23, 2011

Mass Solidarity with Maruti Workers in West Bengal


ON October 19, 2011, thousands of workers came out in the streets of West Bengal in solidarity with the struggling workers of Maruti Suzuki. This was in response to the call of the Centre of India Trade Unions (CITU) for the workers to protest against the attack on Maruti workers and hold demonstrations in front of the Maruti showrooms.


In Kolkata, two big demonstrations were held --- in Baguihati and CIT Road. CITU state secretary Kali Ghosh addressed the workers in both these demonstrations. Another protest programme was held in Baranagar in North 24 Parganas district. In industrial towns of Raniganj and Durgapur, workers from factories came out into the streets and raised slogans in support of their brethren in the Maruti Suzuki unit at Manesar (Haryana). In Purulia, there was a sit-in in front of the Maruti showroom. At Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri district a big rally was organised in the evening, in which the casual workers, youth and students participated. Rallies were organised in almost all the districts of West Bengal.




On the same day, at the call of the CITU, rallies and demonstrations were organised in front of the showrooms of Maruti Suzuki at Chandigarh and in the state of Punjab, to extend support to the peaceful agitation of workers of the Maruti Suzuki plant at Manesar in district Gurgaon of Haryana. These rallies were, apart from Chandigarh, held in Ludhiana, Bathinda, Patiala, Malerkotla, Raikot, Ropar, Batala and Rajpura also, among other places.


The CITU’s state general secretary Raghunath Singh, president Vijay Mishra, vice-president Chander Shekhar, state secretary Devraj Verma, Jetinderpal Singh, Satpal Bharti, Tarsem Jodhan, Jagdish Chand, ranbir Virk, Tarlochan Singh, state treasurer Sucha Singh and state working committee members Gurdev Singh Bagi, Diljeet Kumar Gora, Dr Jagdish Chowka, Jaswant Singh Saini, Hanuman Prasad Dube, Bishram Singh, Samar Bahadur and Maha Singh Rori addressed and led these protest rallies.


Addressing these rallies, Punjab CITU leaders said that multinational companies like Maruti Suzuki had been looting the natural resources of our country and exploiting the innocent workmen by violating all labour laws as well as civil laws of our country. The workers are not being allowed to exercise their fundamental right to organise a union of their choice which is enshrined in the constitution of the country. The workers who dared form a union in this company were punished by dismissing them from service. The role of the labour department of Haryana has also been pro-multinational companies and anti-working class. When the workers did not capitulate before the blackmail of the company, the victimised leaders and activists were reinstated by the company. But the company management wanted to teach a lesson to the workers who had organised a union in the company. This is why the management of the company once again resorted to wholesale victimisation of organisers of the union and did not allow 1400 casuals and contractual workers to rejoin their duty. In violation of the agreement reached between the representatives of the union and the management, the officers of the company started to force the workers to sign an undertaking, called a “good conduct bond,” which was patently illegal, unjustified and unfair on the part of the management.


The Punjab CITU leaders further said that police repression, coercion and victimization resorted to by the management of the company had been resisted by the workers boldly. The


CITU leaders of Punjab further said that in Ludhiana too the workers of the cycle industry were not allowed to form a CITU affiliated union. But the workers frustrated all the evil designs of the management and succeeded in forming a CITU affiliated union and getting it registered. Demanding that the Haryana government must take concrete steps to immediately stop the violation of labour laws, ensure basic democratic trade union rights and allow all the workers including contractual and casual workers to resume their duties, the CITU leaders warned that the working class of Punjab and Chandigarh would not remain silent spectators, but give every support to the just genuine and peaceful struggle of workers in the Maruti Suzuki motor plant of Haryana by organising protest demonstrations in front of the showrooms of Maruti Suzuki in Punjab and Chandigarh.


The Punjab state unit of the CITU has congratulated the workers of Maruti Suzuki plant that they are marching forward despite brutal police repression and victimisation.




ON October 17, hundreds of students, youth and women protested in solidarity with striking Maruti Suzuki workers at the MSIL corporate headquarters at Vasant Kunj in New Delhi


As we know, workers from the Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar, the Suzuki Powertrain and Suzuki Motorcycles Ltd are unitedly and courageously continuing their sit-in protest in Manesar demanding reinstatement of retrenched workers and recognition of their independent union, the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union. 


The activists who assembled in Vasant Kunj expressed their solidarity with the Maruti Suzuki workers and raised slogans such as "Recognise MSEU, Take back Retrenched Workers," "No WagonR’s without Workers' Hands, No Zen without Workers' Brains and No Esteem without Workers' Union", "Which Side are You on, Mr Hooda," and many others.


The activists demanded that the vindictive and arrogant company management must meet the workers' demands without delay. They also demand that the state government of Haryana must stop acting against the workers' interests and immediately intervene to get their demand for an independent union recognised.


The protest was jointly organised by the Student Federation of India, the Democratic Youth Federation of India and the Janwadi Mahila Samiti.