Stand in solidarity with struggling Bajaj Motors workers

Stand in solidarity with struggling workers of Bajaj Motors, Gurgaon

10th March 2014

On the NH-8 stretch from Gurgaon to Manesar, the largest concentration of two-wheeler production in the world, the workers of Bajaj Motors are on sit-down protest at the factory gate since the morning of 24th February. Day and night through the last two weeks, workers have held through their unity emerging even stronger in the face of ‘legal’ and illegal attacks and manipulations by the management, coercion through huge mobilization of police force (the day before, police tried breaking the tent) and coordinated threats and attacks by local goons on the payroll of the company.

The Bajaj Motors Gurgaon management launched a fresh attack on its workers by a series of vindictive terminations and suspensions, effecting a lock-out situation by imposing a humiliating ‘good conduct bond’ as a condition for entry, and forced-work in conditions of near-bondage for a handful of contract workers.

On Monday 24th Feb when A-shift workers came for work, they found a list of suspension orders against 15 workers, while others were asked to sign a humiliating ‘Good Conduct Bond’ to go inside. On Sunday, in preparation, 150-200 DT (Diploma Trainee or another name for contract) workers had been called by the company on overtime, and were being forced to work in conditions of near-bondage, abused and even threatened to be physically assaulted, and arrangements made with tent on the rooftop to stay overnight within the factory premises itself. On Tuesday 25th February morning, one worker from among the DT workers inside, fractured his leg while attempting to jump from over the wall of the factory premises running away from this forced labour. Production is practically at a halt with less than 10% taking place by the 150-odd workers as all the other around 1500 workers are on sit-down protest at the gate ever since.

This attack comes in the wake of a long struggle of the workers in the plant which the management has been continuously trying to suppress since the ‘audacity’ of the workers in forming ‘Bajaj Motors Workers Union’ in 2008 (Reg. No. 1870). Five among the 15 suspended workers are BMWU body members. Symptomatic of the management attack on the Union is the termination of work of the BMWU President Vijender Gill without any formal notification since 22 Nov 2012 just after the settlement of the Charter of Demands, while due to pressure two other Union body members were reinstated earlier. Workers were demanding reinstatement of all suspended workers. While the management claims that the reason for suspensions is ‘indiscipline and slow-down of production’ in the last five days, the real issue at stake as one worker puts it is, “At present here (in Gurgaon-Manesar) the managements of all the companies and entire the (state) department is united to put curbs on workers forming their own organization for their needs, rights and social security, as they fear that their profit margins will be affected if workers get organized.” Since before the formation of the Union itself, coercion and threats, even brandishing guns by bouncers to dissuade workers from filing for their Union recognition, have been the ways of ‘maintaining discipline’. After the formation of the Union through a two-hour strike, the management started process of Union-breaking and the factory has seen continuous coercion and resistance.

Workers of Bajaj Motors are not new to struggle of the working class in the belt. On 20th October 2009, Bajaj Motors workers joined other 1 lakh auto workers in the region on a one-day general strike to support the 43-day strike of nearby workers at Rico Gurgaon where 26 year old worker Ajit Yadav had been shot dead by management goons. On 7th October 2011, Bajaj Motors workers occupied the factory on a 20 hour strike, in solidarity with the Maruti Suzuki Manesar workers’ second-phase of strike that year which happened with the demand to take back all contract workers.

To crush this emerging unity of workers on a plant level, the organized company managements of the region waited for a reason and situation to attack the workers. Bajaj Motors Owner Chairman and MD, V.P. Bajaj is the President of the GIA (Gurgaon Industries Association), and the relative of Brajmohan Munjal, owner of Hero Motorcorp, with (declared) personal wealth of $2.2bn. This family alone controls number of factories in the region, and has the government machinery at its beck and call.

Ever sky-rocketing profits for Munjals and their partners has meant ever increasing workload in increasingly dismal conditions for the workers in the Narsingpur plant here. The highly mechanized production process has meant cutting down on jobs and increasing workload on a single worker rather than its opposite as claimed by the management. Workers here sends parts for 15000 bikes everyday, producing 22 engine parts like shafts, planks to Hero Motorcorp (Gurgaon, Haridwar, Dharuhera), Suzuki Motorcycles, Mahindra two-wheelers, New Holland Tractors, and so on. Suring the struggle at present, workers seek to turn this production chain into a chain of resistance appealing to the workers in 3 other Bajaj Motors plants (of its 11 total plants) in nearby Manesar, Binola and Bawal to come in support for a larger struggle.

The plant in Gurgaon has around 1500 workers of which 283 are permanent with wages around Rs.10-12000 while the rest are contract workers of various categories who are doled the Haryana minimum wage for unskilled worker of Rs.5342. Whereas the work required is of a highly skilled nature, the bulk of the work is foisted on contract workers whose skewed ratio compared to permanent workers is even admitted by the management. The contract workers also find themselves terminated from their jobs after every 6-7 months; there’s another category of around 300 contract workers called DT (diploma trainee) who’re never made permanent, working for 1-2 years.  Only around 10% of the workers are from Haryana, while the rest are migrant workers; most worker stay on rent 10-12km from the factory.

At present workers continue to sit in protest at the factory gate on the national highway. Other workers and Unions from the region are coming in support, among whom are Maruti Suzuki Workers Union, Honda Employees Union, Hero Motorcorp Employees Union, Suzuki Motorcycles India Employees Union, and Unions from Omax Auto, Lumax Auto, Rico Dharuhera and FCC Rico, Automax, and so on. The settlement meetings so far have not yielded any results with the management adamant on breaking the workers unity, while the workers are resolved to struggle ahead with their demands.

 Immediately reinstate all the terminated and suspended workers of Bajaj Motors!

Immediately implement the just demands of Bajaj Motors workers!

End the regime of exploitation-oppression of workers in Gurgaon-Manesar-Dharuhera-Bawal in the name of development!

Workers Solidarity Centre, Gurgaon
(contact: wsc.gurgaon@gmail.com)

BMWU bajaj motors workers protest
watch interview with BMWU @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3FlQ2fUtyY


बजाज मोटर्स गुडगाँव के मजदूरों का संघर्ष

24 फरवरी 2014 से गुडगाँव स्थित बजाज मोटर्स प्लांट में कंपनी प्रबंधन तालाबंदी घोषित कर, संघर्षरत मजदूरों पर हमला कर दिया है| यह हमला सुनियोजित रूप से बजाज मोटर्स के मजदूरों की एकता और जायज मांगो को दबाने के नज़रिए से हो रहा हैं| पहले ‘बजाज मोटर्स वर्कर्स यूनियन’ बनाने की प्रक्रिया में संघर्ष करना, और फिर अपने ही यूनियन की पदाधिकारी को द्वेष भावना से किये गए बर्खास्तगी के खिलाफ अपनी आवाज़ बुलंद करना ही महज़ मजदूरों का अपराध बन गया हैं| सभी मजदूर फ़िलहाल फेक्ट्री गेट के सामने सभी बर्खास्त मजदूरों को बहाल करने व फक्ट्री में विभिन्न श्रम कानूनों को लागु करवाने के मांगो को लेकर दृढ़ता से धरने पर बैठे हुए हैं| जब की प्रबंधन क़ानूनी व गैरक़ानूनी सभी हथकंडे अपना कर बजाज मोटर्स के मजदूरों को दबाने की कोशिश रही हैं, आस-पास के मजदूर व काफी सारे मजदूर यूनियनो की सहयोग बजाज मोटर्स के मजदूरों को मिल रहा हैं, जिसका चलते 25 फरवरी को गेट के सामने एकजुटता सभा हुई|

24 फरवरी को जब A-शिफ्ट के मजदूर काम पर आये, तो उन्होंने 15 मजदूरों के नाम पर निलंबन की चिठ्ठी चिपकाया पाया, और बाकि सभी के हाथ में एक असम्मानजनक ‘गुड कंडक्ट बांड’ थमा दिया गया जिसपर अपनी दस्तखत लगाकर ही मजदूरों का फक्ट्री में प्रवेश हो सकती थी| इससे पूर्व तय्यारी में, उससे पिछले दिन रविवार 23 फरवरी को ही, लगभग 200 ‘डिप्लोमा ट्रेनी’ और ठेका मजदूरों को कंपनी ने ओवरटाइम पर बुलाकर जबर्दस्ती बंधुआ-मजदूर जैसे स्थिति में अन्दर उत्पादन का काम करवाया गया और जा रहा हैं|

प्लांट में लगभग डेढ़ हज़ार श्रमिक कार्यरत है, जिनमे 283 पक्के, और बाकि बिभिन्न प्रकार के ठेके में हैं| काम का बोझ का निरंतर बढ़ना, वास्तविक वेतन का घटना व लगातार ठेकेदारीकरण और ठेका-मजदूरों को हर 6-7 महीनो में बर्खास्त करना, काम पर सम्मान ना देना व प्रबंधन की दादागिरी चलवाना 2006 से शुरू इस कंपनी की आम स्थिति रही हैं| वर्ष 2008 में मजदूरों ने ‘बजाज मोटर्स वर्कर्स यूनियन’ (रेजी.नो.1870) की स्थापना की, जबकि प्रबंधन ने यूनियन को तोड़ने के लिए लगातार प्रयास किया हैं, जिसमे बंदूक के बल पर गुंडों से डराना-धमकाना तक शामिल हैं| मारुति सुजुकी मानेसर के दुसरे चरण के हड़ताल के दौरान 2011 में भी बजाज मोटर्स के मजदूर समर्थन में 20-घंटे की हड़ताल किये थे; 22 नवम्बर 2012 को सात में तीन यूनियन के सदस्यों को बर्खास्त कर दिया गया जिनमे यूनियन प्रधान विजेंदर गिल भी शामिल थे, जिनको काम पर वापस नहीं लिया गया| मजदूरों का लगातार मांग रहा हैं की सभी बर्खास्त मजदूरों को काम पर वापस लिया जाये और कंपनी के अन्दर शोषण-दमन का चक्रव्यूह का ख़तम किया जाए|

बजाज मोटर्स हीरो मोटोर्कोर्प, सुजुकी मोटरसाइकिल, महींद्रा टू-व्हीलर को 22 प्रकार के अलग अलग इंजन के पुर्जे सप्लाई करती हैं| कंपनी के मालिक व एम्.डी. वि. पी. बजाज गुडगाँव उद्योगपतियों का संगठन (GIA) के प्रधान हैं, और हीरो मोटोकोर्प के मालिक ब्रजमोहन मुंजल के रिश्तेदार भी हैं|

बजाज मोटर्स वर्कर्स यूनियन के प्रेसिडेंट विजेंदर गिल ने बताया, “(गुडगाँव में) आज सारे प्रबंधक मिलकर और पूरा (सरकारी) डिपार्टमेंट मिलकर एक रोकथाम लगाए हुए हैं कि कोई भी श्रमिक अपनी अधिकारों के लिए, अपनी जरूरतों को पूरा करने के लिए, सामाजिक सुरक्षा के लिए कोई भी संगठन खड़ा ना करे, क्योंकि संगठन से उद्योगपति यह सोचते हैं की कही हमारे प्रॉफिट को कम ना कर दे|”

तुरंत बिना शर्त बजाज मोटर्स के सभी बर्खास्त और निलंबित श्रमिकों को बहाल किया जाये !

तुरंत बजाज मोटर्स मजदूरों की सभी मांगों को लागू किया जाये !

विकास के नाम पर गुड़गांवमानेसरधारुहेडाबावल में श्रमिकों के शोषण और उत्पीड़न के शासन का अंत करो !

(वर्कर्स सॉलिडेरिटी सेंटर, गुड़गांव से एक रिपोर्ट)

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