|Police personnel at the Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant on July 19, 2012, a day|
after riot broke out in the premises. Photo: Kamal Narang
The clash that took place at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant on Wednesday, 18 July, is the direct offshoot of inhuman working conditions to which workers at the plant specially and the working class as a whole is being subjected to in India.
Workers at Manesar plant had been fighting for years together for realisation of most fundamental rights- e.g. to get their trade union recognised. However, the management has applied all possible unfair means to defeat the legitimate struggle of the workers through direct collusion with state authorities, police repression, bribing trade union leaders and employing bouncers to break the resistance of workers through brutal violence.
On 18, a worker was abused by company official, but instead of conducting an inquiry into the incident and taking action against the official, the victim workman was suspended by the Company. As Union leaders intervened for conciliation, the management called the bouncers employed by it, who started to beat up the workers with sticks and iron rods, getting many workers injured.
Infuriated with this assault, workers retaliated with whatever came to their hands at the spot, mostly automobile parts. As bouncers failed to dominate the scene, officials of the company themselves joined the scuffle to support the bouncers. In the meanwhile a fire started at venue of Human Resource department, in which General Manager, HR, got trapped and burnt. Cause of the fire remains unknown.
Ignoring the fact that it was management deployed bouncers who had started the violence against workers and that more workers are injured in the incident, police, administration and the whole state apparatus has geared up against the workers.
Frightened at the might and militancy demonstrated by the workers, the whole corporate elite- capitalists, media, officials- have joined hands, demanding further state repression of the workers and industrial peace. The leaders of Trade Unions, CITU-AITUC led by Stalinists and HMS led by social-democrats, have dubiously joined the chorus of “industrial peace”, preventing the other sections of working class from coming to aid of their brethren in Maruti-Suzuki and pledging their full support to ‘industrial peace’. A meeting called by the Labour Commissioner, Haryana, on 19 July, next day of the incident, to prevent spreading disturbances to other industrial establishments, was attended by the local leaders of CITU-AITUC-BMS-HMS, where these leaders have pledged to co-operate with state authorities in restoration of “industrial peace”. The ministers and bureaucrats in state and Central government, however, are making clear statements protecting the management officials and indicting workers for the violence. More than 100 workers are already arrested and more are being hunted for. Stalinist and Social Democratic leaders have however disappeared into thin air at this critical moment, leaving the workers that follow them in lurch. Appealing for ‘industrial peace’ leaders of HMS-CITU-AITUC, have already prevented a strike proposed by the workers of Suzuki Powertrain and Suzuki Motorcycles to oppose the police repression upon the workers.
We severely condemn the attempts of corporate elites and the government officials acting on their behest to suppress the legitimate demands of workers through brute violence, bribes and bouncers, and false propaganda in media run by corporates. Violence is inalienable part of economic and political policies masterminded by the corporate elites and imposed upon the working and toiling people and thus is rooted deep in exploitative system of capitalism.
We also condemn the role of Stalinist and social democratic labour organisations- both parties and trade unions- in collaborating with the elites corporate and state officials for “industrial peace”, while at the same time holding back other sections of workers from coming to aid of their class brothers and thereby isolating the Maruti workers at Manesar. We warn the workers against these agents of capitalism. The more workers movement will distance itself from these agents, the more it will gain strength.
We call upon all sections of the working class to rise to the occasion and come to the aid of their class brethren at Maruti-Suzuki plant at Manesar, and thus gear up for a broader offensive against the whole class of capitalists, aimed at overturn of their rule and for a socialist revolution.