Honda, Hero, Maruti Gurgaon plant workers to decide action in July 25th solidarity meeting

Maruti Suzuki’s troubles at its Manesar facility could now snowball into an industry-wide issue. Workers in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt, in companies such as Honda, Hero and Maruti’s own Gurgaon plant, are gathering support for the Manesar plant labour force.

A solidarity meeting is scheduled at a nearby park at about 4 pm on July 25, where workers across manufacturers and their suppliers in the region will meet and decide “how and when” to support the Manesar employees, multiple sources said.

The All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) plans to hold a meeting with other trade unions in Gurgaon on July 27.

“The meeting has been planned for July 25 as it is the same day that workers at Honda Motorcycle were lathi-charged by police a few years back. While all unions have strongly condemned the violence, we don’t think that workers should be fully blamed for the situation,” Mr D. L. Sachdev, National Secretary, AITUC, told Business Line.

The protest being considered may take the form of a day-long tool down and is to show worker support against the police searches and detaining of many Maruti employees following last Wednesday’s violence at the Manesar plant.

A human resources executive was killed and several injured in the violence.

The Gurgaon-Manesar belt is not new to worker-management disputes. Honda Motorcycle (2005), Maruti (2001, 2011), Hero (2006), and their suppliers such as Rico (2009), have all seen clashes in the last decade. In some cases, protests have turned violent.

Gurgaon Plant Support

There is also an undercurrent in Maruti’s primary Gurgaon plant, where workers are pushing for a total strike in support of their colleagues in Manesar. The Gurgaon plant union, Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU), is under pressure to be involved in the matter.

Mr Kuldeep Janghu, General Secretary of MUKU, said, “There is pressure on us from our members to support the Manesar plant workers. We are telling the company to resolve the matter as soon as possible. We will be joining the July 25 union meeting.”

roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 22, 2012)
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