for building a democratic labour movement in India
After a month long struggle by workers of Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), a car manufacturing giant, at Manesar plant, Gurgaon, India an agreement is reached between the management and workers of MSIL Manesar Plant and Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU) on September 30, 2011.
The MSIL management locked its gates on August 29 and declared that only those workers who sign the ‘Good Conduct Bond’ (GCB) will be allowed to enter the factory. As workers refused to sign the GCB, the management’s anti-worker measures continued and total number of workers subjected to disciplinary actions reached 62. It included dismissal of 15 and suspension of 29 regular workers and termination of 18 trainees. It is significant to note that earlier in June 2011, MSIL Manesar plant workers launched a 13 day sit-in strike to fight for union rights and against unfair labour practices.
Subsequent to this struggle, the MSIL management started victimizing workers through suspensions and dismissals. The management imposed an unfair GCB on the workers on August 29, alleging that workers engaged in go-slow tactics and hampered the production process. The situation forced Maruti – Suzuki workers to launch a massive struggle against the management, which was supported by contract and casual workers, trade unions in Gurgaon region, university students, civil society groups and international trade union movement. The IMF and its affiliate IMF Japan Council together with Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions (JAW) extended solidarity to the struggle and called on the Maruti Suzuki management to negotiate with the workers in good faith. Representatives from IMF South Asia office held a number of meetings with the Maruti Suzuki workers and addressed gate meetings to help them to protect their rights. Subsequently, on September 30, a settlement was reached between the MSIL management and Manesar plant workers and MUKU in the presence of Minister for Labour, Haryana Government and labour department officials under the Section 12 (3) of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947. The details of the settlement are as below:
1. 15 workmen who have been dismissed shall be reinstated and placed under suspension and impartial inquiry will be initiated against them.
2. 18 trainees who have been terminated will be reinstated.
3. 29 workmen placed under suspension will remain under suspension and face impartial inquiry.
4. On the principle of “no work, no pay”, no workman shall be eligible for wages from August 29 until the day of reporting for duties. In addition, a penalty of “deduction of wage for one day” shall be imposed upon them.
5. All workmen shall sign the revised good conduct bond and join duties with effect from October 3.
6. The management agreed not to indulge in any acts of vindictiveness against the workmen.
7. Any disputes arising in future will be settled through negotiations.
8. Both parties agreed to respect fundamental rights of each other.
In the spirit of solidarity Maruti Suzuki workers agreed to contribute every month part of their salaries to meet the shortfall of wages of the 44 suspended workers. The IMF notes with concern, that both A and B shift contract and casual workers were not allowed by the management to enter the factory when they reported for duty on October 3. The Maruti Suzuki workers are very much concerned and approaching labour authorities for intervention. Contract and casual workers stayed away from work along with regular workers. Not allowing contract and casual workers is construed as revengeful and vindictive by the Manesar workers
Maruti Suzuki workers in India end the impasse, http://www.imfmetal.org/index.cfm?c=27694&l=2