On 18 December 2016, a new area-wide workers struggle platform Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti (Alwar) organized its first Workers Convention in Ambedkar Park in Neemrana industrial area in Alwar, Rajasthan. Workers from Daikin AC, Toyoda Gosei and Ruchi Beer in Neemrana, Honda HMSI Tapukara, Shriram Pistons in Bhiwadi – where sharp and militant workers struggles have happened in the last 3-4 years – have taken the lead in organising this struggle platform. Workers from Maruti Suzuki, Hero Motocorp, Mikuni, Nissin, Parle and many others joined in the effort on 18th December and have pledged their active support.
This is an important development in the frontier of working class struggles, in Haryana-Rajasthan and in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor, with implications for other regions as well. As speakers like Com. Manmohan (Daikin AC Kamgar Union), Com. Rajpal (Honda HMSI workers struggle) stressed, the current dispensation signifies an increase in attacks on workers struggles and life-worlds as they are themselves experiencing it. In the Neemrana-Bhiwadi-Khuskhera-Tapukara industrial belts, other than the instances of brutal company-state attacks on workers struggles, the ‘normal times’ are those where contractualisation is the norm, horrendous working conditions and low wage is rampant, and there is almost no presence of workers unions or any organized formations. In this context, also after realizing the ritualism and ineffectivity of Central Trade Union structures on the one hand, and of limiting their struggles to only factory-based struggles on the other – this Samiti will seek to advance workers unity and struggle on a area-wide or regional basis.
As speakers like Com. Ramniwas (Provisional Comittee, Maruti Suzuki Workers Union), Com. Amit (Workers Solidarity Centre Gurgaon-Bawal), Com. Subhas (Shramik Sangram Comiittee), Com. Bhimrao (former President and terminated worker, Hero Motocorp Workers Union) and others stressed, this step by workers in this belt is a link in a chain of workers struggle in the region from Pashupati Spinning Mills Dharuhera (1998), Honda Manesar (2005), Rico Gurgaon (2009), Maruti Suzuki Manesar (2011-till date), Honda HMSI Tapukara (2016) and so on. What is significant in this formation is that workers have formed this culling from their own experience and with their own initiative, which is what various apparatuses of the ruling dispensation fear as it is most difficult to attack and co-opt.
A copy of the press note on the samiti is available in hindi, and a short news report on the Convention is available here. From the floor of the Convention itself, as indication of the direction of work of the Committee, it was decided to take up these immediate demands of the movement:
- Reinstate all terminated workers of Honda, Daikin, Ruchi Beer, Toyoda Ghosai, and others in the belt, who have been terminated due to struggling for their rights.
- Drop all false cases foisted on workers and stop the State-administrative repression on workers.
- End the Contract system, and regularise all contract workers working on work of perennial nature and implement Supreme Court guidelines on equal work-equal pay.
- Ensure dignified conditions for work, Stop the attacks on right to collective bargaining and other Trade Union rights.
- Make available employment opportunities for local youth.
For more details on Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti (Alwar), contact: Sonu (Honda) – 7015517950; Manmohan (Daikin) – 9672100936; Anil (Toyoda Ghosai) – 9610812266 from the Samiti.