Powerful expression of solidarity with striking Maruti Suzuki workers

Thousands of workers of different factories in Manesar participated in a militant solidarity dharna at the gate of the Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar on June 9, 2011.

The dharna was organized by the 'Joint Action Committee for solidarity with Maruti workers', that was established at a meeting of local trade unions on June 8, 2011. Over 2000 workers of the Maruti Suzuki plant are on tool down strike since June 4, 2011 in support of their demand for recognition of their union, Maruti Suzuki Employees Union and against the terribly exploitative wages and working conditions. All production has come to a halt.

Given the fact that the overwhelming majority of workers are on strike, it is as clear as daylight that the new union formed by workers is accepted by the workers as their union. The Maruti Suzuki management however has decided to not "recognize" it and declared the strike "illegal", because it has allegedly been called by an "unrecognized" union! It has suspended 11 leaders of the workers. It has cut off the water supply and electricity and closed the canteen, in a bid to starve the workers into submission. Any worker who goes outside is not allowed to come back. But all these fascist measures have only increased the resolve of the striking workers. With banners in their hands and fists raised, they greeted each speaker and each speech in solidarity that was made outside the gate by the workers and leaders of other factories in the area. The workers have demanded that apart from their earlier demands, the management must immediately revoke the suspension orders and give an undertaking that there will be no further victimization.

It was truly a colorful spectacle at the gate of the plant. Sitting on dharna were over 60 leaders of various unions of different companies. Each leader spoke expressing support. Prakash Rao made an important speech expressing the support of the Communist Ghadar Party of India and the Mazdoor Ekta Committee to the striking workers and hailing the work of the Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions of Gurgaon Manesar belt for organizing in solidarity with the Maruti workers.  Santosh Kumar expressed the solidarity of Lok Raj Sangathan.  Comrade Sachdeva of the AITUC addressed the rally expressing the full support of AITUC and promising to ensure that the Central trade unions would take up the cause of Maruti Suzuki workers as their own. Comrade Satbir Singh of CITU and Suresh Gaud of Honda Motors also addressed the rally. Leaders of Hero Honda, Hitachi, Omaxe, Rico, Satyam and dozens of other factories made solidarity speeches. The dharna and meeting was conducted by Comrade Anil Kumar.

As their shifts ended, workers from other plants came in their buses, or marching, to the site in an organized manner and shouted slogans of solidarity with the Maruti workers who were standing behind the gate, before joining the dharna. The June 9 solidarity action has revealed that there is real unity amongst the workers of Gurgaon-Manesar, a unity forged during powerful struggles of the Honda workers in 2005 and the Rico workers in 2009. These victorious struggles have taught the workers important lessons, just as various setbacks have also taught them by negative example. The mood amongst the workers in the belt is militant. It cannot be ruled out that if the Maruti Suzuki management does not accept the demands of the workers, lakhs of workers of the Gurgaon-Manesar belt will come out on the streets. This is the message of the peaceful solidarity dharna of June 9, 2011.

The Communist Ghadar Party of India fully supports the just struggle of the Maruti Suzuki workers and hails the solidarity actions being organized by the Joint Action Committee. Thousands of copies of a leaflet expressing solidarity with the Maruti Suzuki workers were distributed amongst the workers participating in the dharna.

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