425 workers, including 35 women workers, of Aisin Automotive Ltd situated in IMT Rohtak, Haryana were lathi charged at the company gate and arrested under different sections 323, 186, 114, 341, 342, 332, 353, 284 on 31 May. The workers were on sit-in demonstration since 3rd May, after the company terminated 20 workers and demanded undertaking from remaining workers, which the workers denied.
Aisin Automotive is a vendor company Maruti, Honda, Toyota etc and supplies auto components like door lock, door hinge, and manifold . The plant started in 2012. There are around 800 workers including around 340 permanent and around 170 trainee workers. The permanent workers get a monthly salary of Rs 9600, trainees get Rs 8600 and contract workers get Rs 6800-7200. Due to worsening working conditions, humiliation by management staffs and low pay, the workers decided to form union in March 2017 and submitted file for union registration in April 2017.
The company management was making preparations to attack, and took new workers inside the plant before 3rd May.
On 3rd May, no transport was sent to the bus stops. When the workers came to the company by themselves, they found 20 workers, including 5 women workers, terminated. A compulsory undertaking, which had tough conditions to restrict the activities of workers, was offered for others. Workers refused to sign it, and a de facto lock-out started. Workers sat in front of the factory gate since then. 7 worker leaders were not allowed to come within 400 meters of factory gate as the court issued a stay order against them.
The struggling workers, more than 50% being local, campaigned in the nearby villages. Different workers organizations and different unions from Rohtak, including Asian Paints, and from Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal-Neemrana belt, including Maruti, Honda, Belsonica, Daikin etc reached the workers and offered solidarity.
The workers took out rallies in the Rohtak city, had a massive demonstration on 23rd May. They started relay hunger strike and then indefinite hunger strike to put pressure on management and administration for a fair settlement. Many workers fell ill and were hospitalized due to scorching heat. But the management instead tried to run the factory with newly employed contract workers, who were to work, eat, stay inside the plant only.
The union registration file submitted by the workers got rejected without any specific reason by the labour department. Then on 31st May the workers blocked the gates of the plant. Huge police force arrived and lathi charged the workers and arrested them. Women workers were granted bail yesterday, and the magistrate granted bail to the male workers and activists today. However the repressive atmosphere continues. The company has got a stay order of 300 meter from the company gate against the workers. Workers are determined to carry on their struggle.