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Friday, March 29, 2013

Appeal from Jail Stand in Solidarity with us for Justice MARUTI SUZUKI WORKERS UNION (Reg. No. 1923, IMT Manesar)

Appeal from Jail
Stand in Solidarity with us for Justice
(Reg. No. 1923, IMT Manesar)
We are workers of Maruti Suzuki, who are behind bars since 18.07.2012 as part of a
conspiracy, and without any just investigation. 147 of us are inside Gurgaon Central Jail.
Since July, 2500 permanent and contract workers have been terminated from our jobs. In
these past more than 8 months, we have sent our appeal to almost all administrative
officials and elected representatives, including Chief Minister Haryana and the Prime
Minister of India. But neither have our appeals been heard nor have we been granted bail.
The Chargesheet filed by the Haryana police in the Court has no names of any witnesses,
and hence is incomplete. This is only a glimpse of the continuous attack on our
democratic rights on arbitrary grounds, and we see how law is bent towards siding with
company owners. Many of our fellow workers are without parents or guardians, and have
been shouldering the entire burden of the household. Many workers' wives were pregnant
when we were put behind bars. And even when the time of their delivery came, the
workers were not granted bail, or even parole custody. We do not know under what
circumstances their deliveries took place. We give a few instances:
1. One of our fellow workers, Sumit s/o Late Shri Chattar Singh, has no one in the
family except his wife. Even then, when she gave delivery on 6.12.2012 in a
hospital in Gurgaon, the bail plea or parole custody plea of Sumit was rejected.
2. One of our fellow workers, Vijendra s/o Dalel Singh was the lone earning member
in his family. His mother stays sick at most times and was not able to accompany
or help her daughter-in-law when she gave her delivery on 10.01.2013 in a
hospital in Jhajjhar. Even then, Vijendra was neither granted bail nor let off on
3. In the case of one of our fellow workers, Ramvilas s/o Late Shri Silak Ram, his
grandmother, who fell sick after Ramvilas was put behind the bars as he was too
affectionate to her, passed away on 26.02.2013. Ramvilas was not even let off on
parole to meet his grandmother on her death-bed or to attend the funeral. After few
days when it was the time of his wife's delivery, his request for bail or parole
custody was turned down. It caused a mental shock to him.
4. One of our fellow workers, Prempal, s/o Shri Chhiddilal, had the responsibility to
look after his family alone, as his family's livelihood depended entirely depended
on his earnings. When he was thrown into jail arbitrarily, his two years old
daughter mourning her father's absence, fell sick and breathed her last. This
wound was yet to heal, when Prempal's mother aggrieved by the imprisonment of
her son and the death of her granddaughter fell sick and passed away. But even
after this, Prempal's meager one-week parole leave permission was rejected and
he was allowed only a one-hour parole visit on the next day of his grandmother's
funeral. His wife, now alone in the house and mourning the death of her daughter
and Prempal's mother, fell sick and had to be hospitalized. She is still unwell and
there is no one to look after her. It has caused terrible mental agony for Prempal.
5. One of our fellow workers, Rahul, s/o Shri Vinod Ratan, was the only son of his
parents, along with a sister. His sister got married on 16.11.2012. But he was not
even granted parole custody to attend the ceremony for kanyadan. The marriage of
the sole daughter took place in an environment of sadness, and Rahul is yet to
recover from this wound.
6. One of our fellow workers, Subhash, s/o Shri Lal Chand, was very close to his
grandmother. After his imprisonment, his grandmother almost stopped taking food
and all the time used to think of his grandson, and passed away in grief some days
later. But Subhash was not allowed even to attend her funeral on parole custody.
These and many other incidents that go on daily in our lives are enough to fill up the
pages of an entire book.
About ourselves: our identity, family and work
We all are children of workers and peasants. Our parents, with huge effort and sacrifice,
ensured our 10th standard, 12th standard or ITI education, helped us stand on our feet to do
something worthy in our life and help our family in need.
We all joined Maruti Suzuki company after passing the written and viva-voce tests
conducted by the company and on the terms and conditions set by the company. Before
our joining, the company carried out all kinds of investigations, like police verification of
our residential proof or whether we had criminal records! Neither of us had any previous
criminal record.
When we joined the company, the Manesar plant of the company was under construction.
At that stage we foreseeing our future with the progress of the plant invested huge energy
and diligence to lift the Manesar plant of the company to a new height. When the entire
world was struggling under the economic crisis, we worked extra two hours daily to
materialize a production of 10.5 lakh cars in a year. We were the sole creators of the
increasing profit of the company, and today we are implicated as criminals and
murderers, and those who engage in 'mindless arson'!
Almost all of us are from poor worker or peasant families which has been dependent on
our job. We were struggling to weave dreams for our and our family's future, such as of
our own homes, of the better education for our brothers-sisters and children so that they
could have a bright future and ensure a comfortable life for their parents who took the
pain to bring after them.
But in return, we were being exploited inside the company in all possible ways, such as:
1. At work, if any worker was unwell, he was not allowed to go to the dispensary and
was forced to continue with the work in that condition.
2. We were not allowed to go to the toilet, the permission was there only at tea or
lunch time.
3. Management used to behave with the workers very rudely with abusive language,
and used to even slap or make them murga in order to punish them.
4. If a worker was forced to take 3-4 days leave because of his ill health or some
accident or other serious problem in his family or because of the death of a
relative, then half of his salary which amounted to almost Rs. 9000 used to be
deducted by the company.
Because of this continuous exploitation, the workers felt the need of forming a Union.
Maruti Suzuki company was against the idea of a union, and because of that, three strikes
of the workers took place in 2011. After the third strike, thirty fellow workers of ours
were forced to resign as they had participated in the strikes. But at last in February 2012
we were successful in registering our Union, in which the then HR Manager, Late Shri
Awanish Kumar Dev, helped us. The company was angry with Mr. Dev because of his
helpful attitude towards us and as a result, Mr. Dev resigned from the company. But the
company did not accept the resignation of him as they were afraid that their misdeeds
could get exposed. To crush the union and to remove Mr. Dev from its way, the company
with a previously chalked out plan called the bouncers and hooligans in the factory
premises on 18th July 2012 and materialized the 'accident'.
The present situation of the workers inside the Jail
We, 147 workers in total, were thrown behind the bars without any just enquiry, and we
are now here for more than 8 months. We are under severe psychological stress inside the
jail. Many of us are suffering from diseases like tuberculosis, piles, mental imbalance and
several other diseases.
Almost all of us were earning members in our family and we are in jail now. Due to this
our families are approaching the situation of dying of hunger. The education of the
female members of the family and the children have stopped, which are otherwise their
fundamental rights. The future of ours and our families has plunged into darkness. All the
members of our families are mentally too disturbed. We are afraid lest they not take any
wrong step because of the mental pressure.
The present situation of the terminated workers outside the jail
Apart from putting 147 workers behind the bars, the company terminated the service of
almost 2500 regular and contract workers without any domestic enquiry and these
workers are unemployed now. The condition of their families is also very serious. The
situation is that they don't have any proof of work experience, their career is doomed and
whoever of them comes forward in our support, he is arrested and jailed immediately (the
arrest of Imaan Khan, who was a member of Provisional Working Committee of MSWU
and whose name was not there in the FIR, Charge-sheet or SIT report; also the names of
65 workers are under non-bailable arrest warrants). None of the jailed workers or the
terminated workers outside have any occupation to sustain the livelihood of people
dependent on them and it is putting everyone under mental pressure. Still, against all
these odds, the struggle for justice of our fellow workers outside is giving us hope and
energy behind the bars. In this struggle that has gone outside the factory in society now
for more than 8 months, news of the solidarity that we have received from various parts
of the country from workers, toilers and common people has continued to give us hope,
and enthused our spirits.
There is no door of any elected representative that we have not knocked in the space of
these 8 months. We've taken our appeal for justice from the State Industries minister to
the Chief Minister, but the government is bent backwards in trying to take side with the
company management and owners rather than listen to us workers. We appeal to the
government for the last time, that before we are forced into a situation of committing
suicide or killing others, we are given justice which is due to us.
We hope to have your solidarity and your opinion.
Maruti Suzuki Workers Union
(The entire Union body of MSWU is behind the bars of Gurgaon Central Jail, where
a total of 147 workers continue to languish without any justice, or even bail. This
letter of appeal has been sent from there.)

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