Judiciary defends the attacks of capital and denies justice to workers!

A session’s court in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu has sentenced 8 workers of Pricol India Ltd Company to double life sentence in Dec 2015. Pricol India is the Indian subsidiary of a global multinational.

A session’s court in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu has sentenced 8 workers of Pricol India Ltd Company to double life sentence in Dec 2015. Pricol India is the Indian subsidiary of a global multinational.

Pricol India Ltd manufactures speedometers, fuel gauge meters, disk breaks, speedo cables and other accessories. It supplies parts to leading automobile manufacturers in India such as Ashok Leyland, Bajaj, Hero Honda, Maruti, Hyundai, Ford, and General Motors. It is also exporting its products to factories in Italy, Germany, USA and Japan. It also supplies parts for tanks for the Indian Army.

Pricol has factories in Coimbatore, Pune, Gurgaon, Pantnagar in Uttarakhand as well as in Indonesia and Brazil. It has been cutting down the permanent workers and keeping a large number of workers for years together as casual and contract workers. Terrible working conditions, fascist measures are the norms of Pricol company in dealing with its workers. By super exploiting the workers, Pricol has been making huge profits year on year.

Pricol employs over 5,000 workers including nearly 2,000 women workers in its main plants and more than 15 ancillary units in Coimbatore. The workers are brutally exploited. They are forced to work for 12 hours for very little wages. Workers are denied their right to form union of their choice. Management is refusing to recognize the majority AICCTU affiliated union of the workers and attacks the union activists. In its attempt to suppress the workers and intensify the exploitation, management has been resorting to lockouts, illegal mass terminations, suspensions and vindictive transfers, etc. Workers have been militantly and unitedly fighting these attacks on their rights. Whenever a struggle breaks out, management has been regularly using the police to arrest large number of workers and keep them imprisoned for long periods of time. Management has brazenly ignores the judgments of labour courts issued against its practices.

To counter determined struggles of the Pricol workers, management dismissed 42 workers in September 2009 on charges of being responsible for attacking the then Vice President of the Company inside the factory premises resulting in his death the next day. The workers had alleged that the murder of the Vice President inside the Company premises was the handiwork of the management aimed at crushing the workers struggle. However, the authorities never explored or investigated this angle. Instead, following this incident, police arrested and brutally attacked large number of workers and union activists and launched criminal cases on them.

Just as in the case of the workers of the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki, the workers of Pricol are being made the target of savage violence by the Indian state. The capitalist class wants to teach a lesson to workers that if they fight for their rights, the state will even jail them for life! The Sessions Court of Coimbatore has, on Dec 3, 2015, convicted 8 workers to double life sentence.

The events surrounding the struggle of Pricol Workers, and the Court verdict fully confirm that the Indian state is viciously denying the workers their rights while creating most favourable conditions for the capitalists, Indian and foreign, to savagely exploit the land, labour and natural resources of our people. While the big capitalists are given every kind of concessions, waivers and subsidies, workers are denied even the basic rights and justice! The capitalists and their ministers and officials carry out any kind of crimes, organise communal massacres, slaughter thousands people, loot thousands of crores of rupees of money extracted out of people and they get away scot-free. Whereas workers are sent to life imprisonment for crimes they did not commit! By such verdicts, Indian state wants to teach a lesson and threaten the workers and union activists that they will not tolerate any struggle for rights against the interests of big capital.

The situation demands that workers unite cutting across all divisions and intensify our struggle for our rights. Mazdoor Ekta Lehar denounces the barbaric injustice done to the Pricol workers and fully supports the struggle of these workers for justice.