Selling greeting cards to raise funds for jailed Maruti workers

Aditi Nigam New Delhi | Updated on December 01, 2013 Published on December 01, 2013

It is workers’ solidarity with a difference. For a change, there are no slogans, no shutdowns.

Instead, works of famous artists, such as Vincent Van Gogh, are being used to raise funds to support the 147 erstwhile workers of Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant, who have been in jail since violence broke out in the plant on July 18, 2012, leading to the death of an HR executive.

The families of the workers, most of whom are in their twenties, recently held a public hearing in Delhi, where they said that they had exhausted all their finances running from pillar to post for even something like seeking bail.

Now, the Trade Union Solidarity Committee, Mumbai, is raising funds for these jailed workers by selling greeting cards depicting paintings on the lives and struggles of working people by famous artists, such as Vincent Van Gogh, Diego Rivera, Kathe Kollwitz, Chittaprasad, Somnath Hore, Zainul Abedin, among others.

The committee has called upon all “supporters of workers’ struggles for justice everywhere” to raise funds for the jailed Maruti Suzuki workers by distributing postcards of 26 different paintings “as donation cards.”

Facebook page

They have also created a special page on social networking site Facebook, which showcases all the postcards, 13 of which are in black and white and 13 in colour.

“The suggested donation for each black and white card is Rs10 and for the coloured cards, it is Rs 12. These cards can be used to send greetings to friends or even as decorative pieces. They are a pleasure to look at and a treasure to possess,” said a post by the organisation on its Facebook page.

The committee said it was taking this step to demand the release of the 147 jailed workers, the reinstatement of the 2,346 dismissed workers and for the right of workers to form their own union.

Maruti Suzuki’s plant in Manesar was closed for about a month after the violence broke out, affecting production of its flagship Swift and Dzire cars. The company had sacked its entire staff consisting of permanent and contract workers.

The plant restarted under heavy security with an entirely new staff in August 2012.

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Published on December 01, 2013
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