Gurgaon Updates : Automax workers fight against surprise factory closure after two decades in service , and Aisin workers continue their struggle

Readers of this blog would remember name of Ajay Pandey, a 35 year old contract worker from Bihar who worked at OMAX manufacturing company in Dharuhera, Hariyana . Ajay committed suicide on 13th February earlier this year when he was laid off without prior notice, along with 388 other contract workers, most of whom had toiled and worked between 15 and 20 years in the factory. While the struggle for justice of OMAX worker continues, one of their units called Automax, which is situated in Binola Gurgaon has decided to do a one up” on the parent company in terms of exploiting the workers to the fullest.

When around 300 Automax workers reached the factory gate of Automax on 26th June, 2017, they saw a notice on the gate that announced the plant’s closure. The workers who had worked in the company for over 2 decades (company having been founded in 1985) found themselves overnight without their job. The management had given no prior notice to the workers or their union and in blatant violation of the increasingly defunct labour laws, closed the factory. In fact in May the company had fired over 150 contract workers citing lack of demand.

There are three plants namely Omax, Automax and Speedomax which supply auto parts and provide services to companies like Maruti Suzuki and Honda. They have the same owner, JK Mehta. They have 6 units in the Gurgaon area and 10 units across the entire country. For past six months, the Automax management had been shifting machines to the Omax plant in Bawal. The Automax plant has a railway division, tractor division, Hero line, Honda line etc and supplies automobile parts like axle, covering, frame, engine parts etc. The workers formed a union in 2010 and were successful to achieve some facilities and raise salary of workers to some extent. This is yet another reason for the closure. Even though the closure has been announced and all the permanent workers are outside the factory, the railway division in the factory is still operating and new workers have been hired to work there.

23rd June was the last day the workers were in the factory. As 24th and 25th were holidays, workers returned to work on 26th and, in a Kafkasque twist, they found the factory closed. When workers gathered on the gate, protested and demanded to see the legal documents related to the closure, management called the police who attacked the workers and quelled their protest! The local administration and labour department is clearly in the back pocket of Omax Management as they have kept complete silence on the issue. Workers are left to fight this closure on their own, with the state unambiguously aiding the management. The machine parts are being shifted to the Omax unit in Bawal, where there are no permanent workers at all. The police force, led by local SHO, is giving protection to the shifting process.

However workers are trying to resist and under the leadership of their union, they are continuing to protest near the factory gate since 24th June. The protest is going on day and night for the last 24 days.

Meanwhile, the protracted and resolute struggle of Aisin workers enters their 70th day. Over 450 male and 50 female workers are continuing to protest 400 meters outside the factory gate. In spite of treacherous heat, lack of drinking water at the site of protest and local administration not even making sure that there are mobile toilets available for women workers, they are determined to continue the struggle. Aisin, which had removed over 800 workers (permanent and contract) and then brutally lathi charged and arrested the protesting workers on 31st May, is refusing to negotiate with the workers who are fighting for their demand to get reinstated and fighting for their union to be recognized. As in the case of Automax, the local administration and labour department is hand in glove with the management and is refusing to bring the management to the negotiating table. However the Aisin workers union is determined to carry on their struggle.

The struggles in the Gurgaon-Dharuhera-Manesar-Bawal Automobile belt are entering a new phase, and combination of increasingly precarious labour, a near complete dissolution of labour laws which the Indian working class has fought for a century to win and ease of shifting the production from one unit to another means that the working class, their unions and the revolutionary organizations will have to come up with new strategies which can fight this onslaught.

Posted in Automobile Industry, Lock out/Closure, Migrant Workers, News, Strikes, Workers Struggles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

State transport workers victimised following strike in May

State transport workers victimised following strike in May

The consequences of the successful strike carried out by thousands of transport workers which shut down Tamil Nadu’s state transport corporations for two days in May, are slowly becoming clear to the workers.   While the Rs.1250 crores that was promised to cover workers dues has been paid, the managements of the transport corporations have found another way to quell the spirit of the workers – by victimising the active cadre through transfers and suspensions on fabricated charges. According to CITU, 226 workers have been charged under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. As negotiations between the 47 unions and the government continues, some of the basic issues remain to be addressed.

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Sea is for the fishing communities – Coastal Yatra by NFF in Tamil Nadu

As the Central Government proposes to privatize the coasts of India through the ambitious Sagarmala project, civil society groups working with fish workers under the umbrella of National Fishworkers Forum, have launched a campaign to highlight these anti-fisher community policies. The Coastal Yatra launched in Tamil Nadu travels from Kanyakumari District to Chennai from July 10 to 27th, to visit the coastal fishing villages along the Tamil Nadu Coast and highlight the policy changes vis-a-vis fishing sector which aims to support investment heavy industrial and fishing projects at the cost of destroying the livelihoods of small scale fisher communities.

Since BJP has come to power, the Modi Government has been pushing for industrialization in fishing sector that favors big trawlers, shipping companies and private port development conglomerates. In 2014, Modi pushed for allowing big ships to have more license for deep sea fishing, while fishing communities and groups such as NFF have demanded an end to deep sea fishing since it continues to deplete sea resources at an alarming rate. In response to these criticisms, the Government has promoted fisher cooperatives for deep sea fishing which would only increase the cost of production for fisherfolks and push them further into debt while it does not address the main criticism of depletion of ocean resources.

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பிரிக்கால் தொழிலாளர் பிரச்சனை தொழிலாளர் நீதிமன்றத்திற்கு சென்றது,  தொழிலாளர்களின் 16 நாட்கள் உண்ணாவிரதப் போராட்டத்திற்கு கிடைத்த வெற்றி

விவசாயிகள் பிரச்சனைக்கு ஆதரவாக வேலை நிறுத்தத்தில் ஈடுபட்டதற்காக பிரிக்கால் நிர்வாகம் சுமார் 840 தொழிலாளர்களின் 8 நாள் ஊதியத்தை பிடித்தம் செய்தது. இது குறித்து எழுப்பப்பட்ட வழக்கை தொழிலாளர் நீதிமன்றத்திற்கு அனுப்பக் கோரி ஜுன் 19 முதல் பிரிக்கால் தொழிலாளர்களும் ஆதரவாளர்களும் காலவரையற்ற உண்ணாவிரதப் போராட்டத்தில் ஈடுபட்டனர். அவர்களுக்கு ஆதரவாக பல்வேறு அமைப்புகள் தமிழ்நாடு முழுவதும் போராட்டங்கள் நடத்தினர். சென்னை தலைமையகமும் இரு நாட்கள் முற்றுகையிடப்பட்டன. இதன் விளைவாக ஜுலை 3 அன்று தொழிலாளர் துறை அமைச்சருக்கும் தொழிற்சங்கப் பிரதிநிதிகளுக்கும் இடையே பேச்சுவார்த்தை நடைபெற்றது. அதில் தொழிலாளர்களின் வழக்ளை நீதிமன்றத்திற்கு அனுப்ப மாநில அரசு ஒத்துக் கொண்டது. அதற்கான அரசாணை ஜுலை 5 ல் வெளியிடப்பட்டது. இதனையடுத்து ஜுலை 4 ஆம் தேதி தொழிலாளர்கள் உண்ணாவிரதத்தை முடித்துக் கொண்டனர்.

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Pricol case referred to labour court, workers end their fast after 16 days

After a 16 day hunger fast and various other actions, the Pricol workers won a victory after a high level Government meeting involving the union and the Labour Minister, Nilofer Kafil on 3rd July 2017. In a GO released which has referred the demands of the Pricol workers to the labour court, the State Government has questioned the justness of the management’s decision to withhold 8 days wages in penalty for a one-day strike. A Government Order to this effect was released on 5th July 2017. After the talks with the Labour Minister, the union held a meeting with the fasting workers on 4th of July, at which point the fasting workers ended their 16 day fast. This victory came after a series of protests and solidarity actions that were executed throughout the state on behalf of the Pricol workers.

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ஷாஹீத் திவஸ் – 25 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன் உயிர் நீத்த தொழிலாளர் தியாகிகளுக்கு பிலாய் தொழிலாளர்கள் அஞ்சலி

Shaheed Diwas Workers at Public meeting

1992 ஜுலை 1 அன்று பிலாய் பவர்ஹவுஸ் ரயில் நிலையத் தண்டவாளத்தில் நடந்த ஒரு போராட்டத்தில் காவல் துறையினர் சுட்டதனால் 15 தொழிலாளர்கள் கொல்லப்பட்டனர். 1982ல் தொடங்கப்பட்ட சத்திஸ்கர் முக்தி மோர்ச்சா, தோழர் சங்கர் குஹா நியோகியின் தலைமையில் நடைபெற்ற போராட்டத்தில் உயிர் நீத்த தொழிலாளர்களுக்கு அஞ்சலி செலுத்தும் வகையில் கடந்த 25 வருடங்களாக ஷாஹித் திவஸ் அனுசரிக்கப்படுகிறது. 25 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு பின்னர் ஆயிரக்கணக்கான தொழிலாளர்கள் அதே தண்டவாளத்தில் உயிர் நீத்த தியாகிகளுக்கு அஞ்சலி செலுத்தினர். பிலாய் ஜாமுல் தொழிலாளர் காம்பில் இருந்து ரயில் நிலையம் வரை தொழிலாளர்களும் தொழிலாளர் தலைவர்களும் உயிர்நீத்த தொழிலாளர்களின் குடும்பங்களும் 4கிமீ பேரணியில் சென்று அஞ்சலி செலுத்தினர்.

The Martyrs of 1st July

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