Monday, October 19, 2015

Haryana Police bulldozed the tents of the Bridgestone Automative Workers on hunger strike #WTFnews

Haryana Police bulldozed the tents of the Bridgestone Automative Workers on hunger strike #WTFnews


It has been one month since 17 September into the sit-in at the factory gate today against the management-state attack on workers demanding right to Unionize, against the suspension of first 25 workers, then termination of jobs of 18 workers, and of 400 more when workers decided to fight together.

While the Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar spits his Hindutva vile on making Muslims second-class citizens in the country, the State Policegoes on with its everyday job – being agents of the Company Raj, and attacking‪ #‎thosewhomakeinindia‬ who refuse to take 'normal' exploitation lying down.

Report on the  by automobile workers employed in Bridgestone Factory in Manesar

Automobile Industry Contract Workers Union

Striking workers forcefully made to disperse from the site of protest by bulldozing the tent to ground by Police at the behest of factory Management !

The illegitimately sacked workers employed in the Bridgestone Factory of Manesar were forcefully removed from their site of protest through Police intimidation and bulldozing the tent being used the workers to ground by the Police on 17 October. The workers had flagged off their relay hunger strike early the same morning when the police sprung into action at the behest of the Factory Management. The Police action taken against the peacefully protesting workers has been orchestrated by the Factory management said an agitated worker at the site which now has been bulldozed to the ground. 400 odd workers were unlawfully sacked by the Management on 18 September after the workers demanded to get their union registered. The workers have been sitting on a strike 100 meters away from the premises of the Bridgestone Factory since 18 September demanding that all evicted workers be taken back and their demands be met. The representatives from the workers union and the Factory management had met twice in the office of Labour Commissioner however nothing fruitful has come out from these meetings.

The entire issue began on 18 September when the workers were on their way to observe a tool down in the factory against the termination 20 permanent workers who had been terminated to dissuade the workers from getting the union registered. The workers had acquired an official order from court to observe tool down but when the workers reached the factory gates on the fateful morning of 18 September they were met with Police officers and hired bouncers at the gate. When the workers tried to enter the factory premises they were beaten up by the he Police and the hired goons of the management. The same day 400 workers were shown the door by the Management.

But the workers resolved to fight against this oppression and injustice. On 21 September 2015 the Labour Court had invited the workers and the Factory management for a mediation process after the workers had approached the court to intervene in the matter as the workers had an official court order of tool down on 18 September 2015, the day they were illegally prevented from entering the premises of the factory. The meetings at the office of the Labour commissioner did not bring any resolution to the matter and the workers decided to continue their protest till their demands were met.

Soon after the workers declared that will stay put outside the factory and continue to stage protest, Police and hired goons of the management came to intimidate the workers and to threaten them with grave consequences if they did not leave. A representative from the Workers Union Krishan Murari who was also playing a pro-active role in getting the union registered was served an order of transfer to the Chennai plant prior to the events that unfolded on the 18 September.

Krishan Murari said that they have been constantly threatened by the Police to leave and end the strike. Automobile industry contract workers union has been supporting the workers struggle since the beginning of the strike. Anant from Automobile Industry Contract Workers Union said Such an incident is not unprecedented, earlier a similar strike had broken out in Sri Ram Piston factory in Bhiwadi where workers were demanding to get their union registered.

Then it was the Rajasthan  and now its is Haryana. But the story remains the same, the 260 Labour lawsguaranteed to the workers of this country remain illusory to the large work force. The workers at Bridgestone Company were trying to get their union registered for the last 6 months and during this time period the management tried their best to break up the unity of the workers or to obstruct the process by submitting false information with the Labour Commissioner office and when none of these tactics worked the management shamelessly sacked the workers and beat them up with the assistance of the Police.


Anant further added that the courage of the Workers needs to be applauded as they chose to stand up against the Management however any such worker struggle needs to be fought on a sector based level to be able to successful. Only a sector based union fighting for the rights of thousands of workers engaged in automobile sectorcan address the issues concerning the workers.

This kind of Police repression of the workers struggle is not first of its kind a few days earlier the contract workers of Maruti were lathicharged by the Police after they demanded a hike in their salary. The conditions of the workers employed in the entire automobile industry belt from Gurgaon-Manesar-Dharuheda-Bawal are the same.

The rights of the workers are trampled upon in broad day light, they are lathicharged at, brutally beaten and then kicked out without a reason. What needs to be noted is that the same Police who beat up the workers inspite of having a legal court order for tool down bulldozed the tents of the workers without a proper notice.

The law seems to serve the mighty.But the workers have not left their ground, they are still sitting amidst the shambles of the demolished tent and have made it clear beyond any doubt that they will continue their struggle till their demands are not met. The workers are continuing their relay hunger strike amidst all the pressure being mounted on them by the Police.

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