ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Learning from Maruti

Unless the problems of exploitation and oppression of workers are addressed, labour unrest will continue to spread.

The killing of a Maruti Suzuki manager in the violence at its factory in Manesar, Haryana last month is a tragic denouement of a long-standing industrial dispute at the plant. As has been written and reported extensively, including in the columns of EPW, the workers at Maruti’s Manesar plant have been agitating for long to get their union recognised, the contract workers regularised and the wages increased. Till the violence in July, all the strikes and agitations by the workers were peaceful and the only violence was that by the police and the factory’s security who often beat up and corralled workers who were protesting.

Unfortunately, for over a year, the management of Maruti Suzuki has done everything in its power to deny the workers their demands. In this they have received fulsome support from the Government of Haryana whose police personnel have worked as the private goons of the management to terrorise and beat up the workers, and whose labour department has worked to hide and support every infringement of labour rights. With the workers denied every possibility of peaceful and honourable redress, their union not recognised and their leaders broken and bribed, it was only a matter of time before the pent-up anger and frustration exploded. It is unfortunate that this led to the loss of a life.

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