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Thread: 13 Trade Unionists in India Facing Death Sentences or Life Imprisonment!

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  1. #1
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    Default 13 Trade Unionists in India Facing Death Sentences or Life Imprisonment!

    URGENT APPEAL - Special issue (30) : 13 TRADE UNIONISTS IN INDIA FACING DEATH SENTENCES OR LIFE IMPRISONMENT !


    13 TRADE UNIONISTS IN INDIA FACING DEATH SENTENCES OR LIFE IMPRISONMENT !

    The workers and trade union activists at the Maruti-Suzuki, Manesar factory, an Indian arm/plant of the Japanese Suzuki multinational corporation, who were arrested and charged in connection with the incidents that took place at this factory in 2012, in which a factory manager died, have just been tried in court. 117 of them were acquitted and 31 were convicted of various offenses, including 13 who were convicted of murder -- which in India is PUNISHABLE by DEATH OR LIFE IMPRISONMENT.

    FINALITY OF THIS QUANTUM OF PUNISHMENT WILL BE OUT ON MARCH 17.

    Of the 13 convicted of murder -- convictions in which no evidence was produced to prove their guilt --
    11 were leaders of the MSWU, the independent union that was formed in Maruti and that management sought to break through violence.

    There is not a moment to lose.

    We must mobilise immediately to GET JUSTICE FOR ALL CONVICTED MARUTI WORKERS AND MORE PARTICULARLY save the 13 !

    In the best traditions of international working class solidarity, it is up to the workers' movement in each country
    to determine the forms they deem best to address the Indian authorities as soon as possible to demand:

    SAVE THE LIVES OF THE MARUTI 13!
    FREEDOM FOR ALL THE IMPRISONED WORKERS!
    DROP ALL THE CHARGES!

    Daniel GLUCKSTEIN
    Nambiath VASUDEVAN

    On behalf of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers' International

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    Default EXTRA URGENT!: 13 Trade Unionists in India Facing Death Sentences or Life Imprisonmen

    EXTRA URGENT!: 13 Trade Unionists in India Facing Death Sentences or Life Imprisonment!; Punishment to be decided this Friday!; Pls


    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Please help us save the lives of the Maruti 13 and obtain freedom for all the imprisoned Indian trade unionists by endorsing the Open Letter to the Indian Ambassador to the United States. [See Open Letter following Appeal from Nambiath Vasudevan and Daniel Gluckstein.]

    We also urge you to contact your union and/or community organization with the request that they endorse this Open Letter and send their own statements, on their letterheads, to the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC (with copies to us at <[email protected]>).

    We have only two days to secure their freedom. The sentencing takes place on Friday, March 17.

    Please act now! Thanking you in advance for your support,

    In solidarity,

    Alan Benjamin
    Member of the Continuations Committee
    of the Mumbai World Conference Against
    War, Exploitation and Precarious Labor

    * * * * * * * * * *


    13 TRADE UNIONISTS IN INDIA FACING DEATH SENTENCES OR LIFE IMPRISONMENT!

    The workers and trade union activists at the Manesar factory of the Maruti-Suzuki corporation, an Indian subsidiary of the Japanese Suzuki multinational corporation, who were arrested and charged in connection with the incidents that took place at this factory in 2012, in which a factory manager died, have just been tried in court. 117 of them were acquitted and 31 were convicted of various offenses, including 13 who were convicted of murder -- which in India is PUNISHABLE by DEATH OR LIFE IMPRISONMENT.

    THE FINAL DECISION ON THE FORM OF PUNISHMENT WILL BE MADE ON MARCH 17.

    Of the 13 convicted of murder -- convictions in which no evidence was produced to prove their guilt -- 11 were leaders of the MSWU, the independent union that was formed in Maruti and that management sought to break through violence.

    There is not a moment to lose.

    We must mobilise immediately to GET JUSTICE FOR ALL CONVICTED MARUTI WORKERS AND MORE PARTICULARLY TO save the 13!

    In the best traditions of international working class solidarity, it is up to the workers' movement in each country to determine the forms they deem best to address the Indian authorities as soon as possible to demand:

    SAVE THE LIVES OF THE MARUTI 13!
    FREEDOM FOR ALL THE IMPRISONED WORKERS!
    DROP ALL THE CHARGES!

    Daniel GLUCKSTEIN
    Nambiath VASUDEVAN

    On behalf of the International Workers Committee
    Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers' International

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Attachments:

    - Special Issue of the IWC Weekly Newsletter, which includes two statements from labor organizations in India regarding the recent verdict by the courts in India: (1) the statement by the Provisional Working Committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union titled, "Is There Any Justice Possible for Workers in this Country?" and (2) the Statement by the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI).

    - Photo of Pardeep Gujjar (left) and Ram Niwas, two Maruti workers who are facing the death penalty or life imprisonment. Both addressed the delegates to the Mumbai Conference Against War, Exploitation and Precarious Labor on November 18-20, 2016, where this photo was taken. (Both spent four years in prison, and were released on bail, which is why they were able to address the Mumbai Conference.)

    - Photo of the striking Maruti workers in 2012

    * * * * * * * * * *

    Please Endorse this Sign-On Open Letter to the Indian Ambassador to the United States

    Mr. Navtej Sarna
    Ambassador from India to the United States
    2536 Massachusetts Ave., NW
    Washington, DC
    Email: [email protected]

    Dear Ambassador Navtej Sarna,

    We, the undersigned supporters of labor and democratic rights, write you this Open Letter to urge you and your government to take immediate action to save the lives of 13 trade unionists of the Maruti-Suzuki corporation, who were arrested and charged in connection with the incidents that took place at the company's Manesar factory in 2012, in which a factory manager died. As you most certainly are aware, the imprisoned Maruti workers have just been tried in court; 117 of them (who had already spent four years in prison) were acquitted, but 31 were convicted of various offenses, including 13 who were convicted of murder -- which, as you know, is punishable by death or life imprisonment. The sentencing is scheduled for Friday, March 15.

    We have read the appeal from the Provisional Working Committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union and the March 10 statement by the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI). We agree fully that these workers have been convicted on trumped-up charges for their trade union activity. No evidence was provided to link any of these workers to the unfortunate death of a factory manager. Eleven of the 13 facing the most serious charges were leaders of the MSWU, the independent union that was formed in Maruti and that management sought to break through violence.

    We urge you to relay to your government in India our call for justice for all the convicted Maruti workers, and more particularly for the 13 Maruti trade unionists, whose lives are in grave danger. We call upon you and your government to save their lives and to drop all the bogus charges against all those convicted unjustly. We call upon you and your government to free all the imprisoned Maruti workers.

    Sincerely,

    [follows list of signatories]

    * * * * *

    ENDORSEMENT COUPON

    [ ] I endorse the above Open Letter to the Indian Ambassador to the United States

    NAME

    UNION/ ORG (list if for id. purposes only)

    CITY

    STATE

    EMAIL

    (Please fill out coupon and return to <[email protected]>)

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  3. #3
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    Default Many thanks for your endorsement of the Appeal to save the lives of the Maruti

    Many thanks for your endorsement of the Appeal to save the lives of the Maruti trade unionists in India . . .


    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Within 36 hours, we were able to assemble a significant and representative list of endorsers in support of the letter to the Indian ambassador to the United States demanding freedom for the embattled Maruti unionists in India. [See letter below with initial list of signatories from the United States.]

    Our profound thanks for responding to the call to save the lives of the Maruti workers.

    We are expecting more endorsements throughout the afternoon and evening. (If some of you receiving this letter have not yet sent in your endorsement, there is still time to do so, but please hurry.) We will send a second letter to the Indian ambassador late tonight.

    Unionists and activists in dozens of countries are also gathering endorsements. In some cases they are using online petitions -- such as a group of Russian activists who have placed a petition on avaaz.org. In a number of countries delegations have gone to the Indian embassies and consulates with our demands.

    We hope that our combined efforts will save the lives of activists whose only crime was to organize a trade union to improve the wages, rights and working conditions of the workers at the Manesar factory operated by Maruti-Suzuki.

    We will keep you posted on developments in this horrid miscarriage of justice.

    Again, many thanks for your support,

    Alan Benjamin and Colia L. Clark

    Members, Continuations Committee

    Mumbai World Conference Against

    War, Exploitation and Precarious Labor

    * * * * * * * * * *



    LETTER TO INDIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES

    Mr. Navtej Sarna

    Ambassador from India to the United States

    2536 Massachusetts Ave., NW

    Washington, DC

    Email: [email protected]

    Dear Ambassador Navtej Sarna,

    We, the undersigned supporters of labor and democratic rights, write you this letter to urge you and your government to take immediate action to save the lives of 13 trade unionists of the Maruti-Suzuki corporation, who were arrested and charged in connection with the incidents that took place at the company's Manesar factory in 2012, in which a factory manager died.

    As you most certainly are aware, the imprisoned Maruti workers have just been tried in court; 117 of them (who had already spent four years in prison) were acquitted, but 31 were convicted of various offenses, including 13 who were convicted of murder -- which, as you know, is punishable by death or life imprisonment. The sentencing is scheduled for Friday, March 15.

    We have read the appeal from the Provisional Working Committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union and the March 10 statement by the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI). We agree fully that these workers have been convicted on trumped-up charges for their trade union activity. No evidence was provided to link any of these workers to the unfortunate death of a factory manager. Eleven of the 13 facing the most serious charges were leaders of the MSWU, the independent union that was formed in Maruti and that management sought to break through violence.

    We urge you to relay to your government in India our call for justice for all the convicted Maruti workers, and more particularly for the 13 Maruti trade unionists, whose lives are in grave danger. We call upon you and your government to save their lives and to drop all the bogus charges against all those convicted unjustly. We call upon you and your government to free all the imprisoned Maruti workers.

    Sincerely,

    ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS

    SEIU Local 87

    Olga Miranda, President

    Ahmed Abozayd, Vice President

    San Francisco, California

    - - - - -

    National Lawyers Guild International Committee

    Suzanne Adely, co-chair

    New York, N.Y.

    - - - - -

    International Commission for Labor Rights

    Jeanne Mirer, Esq.

    New York, N.Y.

    - - - - -

    Southern Anti-Racism Network

    Theresa El-Amin, Board Chair

    Atlanta, Georgia

    - - - - -

    The Organizer

    Lindsay Curtis, Ed. Bd. member

    San Francisco, California

    * * * * * * * * * *



    INDIVIDUAL ENDORSEMENTS

    (*) Indicates title and organization for id. only

    Alan Benjamin (*)

    OPEIU Local 29 Delegate

    San Francisco Labor Council

    San Francisco, California

    * * * * *

    Colia L. Clark

    Continuations Committee

    Mumbai World Conference Against

    War, Exploitation and Precarious Labor

    Harlem, New York

    * * * * *

    Chris Silvera (*)

    President,

    Teamsters Local 808

    Long Island City, New York

    * * * * *

    Timothy Killikelly (*)

    President

    AFT 2121

    San Francisco, California

    * * * * *

    Mark Dudzic (*)

    Coordinator

    Labor for Single Payer Campaign

    Washington, D.C.

    * * * * *

    Cindy Sheehan

    Gold-Star Mother

    Vacaville, California

    * * * * *

    Nancy Wohlforth (*)

    Secretary-Treasurer Emerita

    OPEIU (AFL-CIO)

    Washington, DC

    * * * *

    Thomas F Gogan (*)
    UAW 1981 National Writers Union
    New York, New York


    * * * * *

    Gene Bruskin (*)
    Trade unionist;

    Co-Founder, US Labor Against the War

    Silver Spring, Maryland

    * * * * *

    Erin McKee (*)

    President

    South Carolina AFL-CIO

    Swansea, South Carolina

    * * * * * * *

    Dayne Goodwin (*)
    Secretary

    Wasatch Coalition for Peace and Justice
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    * * * * *

    Mya Shone

    Taking Aim

    Vallejo, CA

    * * * * *

    Ralph Schoenman

    Taking Aim

    Vallejo, CA

    * * * * *

    Bill Leumer (*)

    Former president IAM Local 565

    San Francisco, California

    * * * * *

    Dennis Gallie

    Rank and File Auto Worker (Retired)

    Kansas City, MO

    * * * * *

    Julian Kunnie (*)

    First Nations Enforcement Agency;

    Free Mumia Campaign

    Tucson, Arizona

    * * * * *

    Ashwini Sukthankar (*)

    UNITE HERE

    New York, NY

    * * * * *

    Judy Richardson

    Human Rights activist

    Silver Spring, Maryland

    * * * * *

    Carol Gay (*)

    President

    State Industrial Union Council

    Brick, New Jersey

    * * * * *

    Millie Phillips

    Editorial Board

    The Organizer Newspaper

    Oakland, California


    * * * * *

    Donna Dewitt (*)

    Retired President Emeritus

    South Carolina AFL-CIO

    Swansea, SC

    * * * * *

    Peter Olney (*)

    ILWU, Retired

    San Francisco, California

    [email protected]

    * * * * *

    Haldon Sutton (*)

    SW Florida UAW Retired Workers Council

    North Port, FL

    * * * * *

    Timothy Stinson

    Socialist Organizer

    Albany, OR

    * * * * *

    Larry Duncan (*)

    Co-producer

    Labor Beat

    Chicago, IL

    * * * * *

    Mark Demming (*)

    National Lawyers Guild

    Oakland, California

    * * * *

    Chris Kaihatsu (*)
    RevLeft.com

    Chicago, IL


    * * * * *

    Carole Seligman (*)

    South San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association, CFT, NEA

    San Francisco, CA

    * * * * *

    Norma J F Harrison (*)

    Peace and Freedom Party

    Berkeley, California

    * * * * *

    Fred Lonidier (*)

    Professor Emeritus

    Past President, UC/AFT Local 2034

    Labor Council Delegate, AFL-CIO

    San Diego, California

    * * * * *

    Michael Carano (*)
    Teamsters Local 348, retired
    Tallmadge, Ohio

    * * * * *

    N.Y. Romo (*)
    Undergraduate Workers Union @ UC Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA

    * * * * *

    Saladin Muhammad (*)
    Southern Workers Assembly
    Rocky Mount, NC

    * * * * *

    Lenny Potash (*)
    AFSCME-R Chapter 36 Executive Board member
    Los Angeles, California

    * * * * *

    David Walters

    IBEW 1245, Retired

    Pacifica, California

    * * * * *

    Eduardo Rosario (*)

    President

    New York LCLAA (AFL-CIO)

    New York, N.Y.

    * * * * *

    Adam Wood (*)

    IAFF Local 798

    San Francisco, CA

    * * * * * * * * * *



    ALSO PERSONAL LETTER FROM MS. DEBORAH JOHNSON

    Mr. Navtej Sarna

    Ambassador from India to the United States

    2536 Massachusetts Ave., NW

    Washington, DC

    Email: [email protected]

    Re: Case of Maruti 13 Facing Sentencing on March 17

    Dear Ambassador Navtej Sarna,

    Please do not destroy your people's right to negotiate their labor concerns when they are acting in an organized, civilized, and intelligent way by participating in labor unions.

    All countries, including Americans, enjoy the pleasure of participating in unions. Why the death penalty for your people who are the backbone of your economy?

    Please do not execute your people...union organizers, for seeking to exercise their rights to negotiate. The world is watching to determine if your government will insist upon acting uncivilized to your workers and union organizers by executing them!. Your workers and union organizers are demonstrating the highest form of civilized behavior, they are inviting your businesses and concerned people to sit at the negotiation table to discuss all parties financial concerns.

    Why kill your people for that? What is the message your government wants to convey to the world about India... by killing innocent people who only want to express their financial concerns and hardships?

    Be Positive, Productive, Peaceful and Progressive!

    Deborah Johnson

    [email protected]
  4. #4
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    Default VERY IMPORTANT: Letter from ICLR to Indian Ambassador to the US re Maruti Suzuki

    VERY IMPORTANT: Letter from ICLR to Indian Ambassador to the US re Maruti Suzuki workers (text and attachment)


    Dear sisters and brothers,

    We hope you can use this important letter from the International Commission for Labor Rights to help gather last-minute endorsements in support of the letter to the Indian ambassador to the United States demanding freedom for the Maruti-Suzuki workers.

    In solidarity,

    Alan Benjamin and Colia L. Clark,
    Members, Continuations Committee
    Mumbai Workers Conference Against
    War, Exploitation and Precarious Labour

    * * * * * * * * * *


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: <[email protected]>
    Date: Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 2:25 PM
    Subject: Letter from ICLR to Indian Ambassador to the US re Maruti Suzuki workers
    To: Alan Benjamin <[email protected]>, [email protected]


    Please see the letter we just sent, below and attached.

    -------- Original Message --------

    Subject: URGENT letter from International Commission for Labor Rights regarding the Maruti Suzuki workers - attached and below
    Date: 2017-03-16 5:22 pm
    From: [email protected]
    To: <[email protected]>
    Cc: Jeanne <[email protected]>


    Statement of the International Commission for Labor Rights

    On the 13 Trade Unionists in India Facing Death Sentences or Life Imprisonment!



    Mr. Navtej Sarna

    Ambassador from India to the United States

    2536 Massachusetts Ave., NW

    Washington, DC

    The International Commission for Labor Rights (ICLR), a U.S. based international organization that coordinates a global network of lawyers committed to advancing workers’ rights under international and national law, calls for the government of India to release the imprisoned Maruti Suzuki workers who are set to be sentenced on March 17, 2017 including the thirteen workers who are facing sentences of death or life in prison.

    ICLR has been concerned with the protection of the rights of the Maruti Suzuki workers for some time now. In May, 2013 ICLR convened an international delegation to investigate alleged violations of workers’ and trade union rights at the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki (MSIL) as well as allegations that dozens of workers had been dismissed and detained without trial, merely for exercising their right to form and join a trade union of their choice. These rights are protected under Core Conventions of the International Labour Organization, regarding freedom of association and collective bargaining. The delegation, which included labor lawyers and labor rights experts from the U.S., Japan, France, South Africa and India, met widely with workers and their families, civil society organizations including trade unions, the public authorities, and industry associations.

    The delegation concluded, and its findings reflected, significant violations of law with respect to the right to freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining and the right to equal pay for equal work, protected under ILO Conventions 87, 98 and 111 and failures to ensure the rule of law and violations of civil liberties and human rights of the Maruti Suzuki workers.

    The ICLR delegation also found that the criminal justice process in the state of Haryana heavily favored, MSIL management interests over worker and trade union rights and cited the heavy-handed role of the police force, and the lack of a transparent, impartial and effective investigative process.

    The findings noted that, as of 2013, that there has been no independent investigation of the violence, or of the underlying industrial dispute. It is our understanding that such an independent investigation has yet to be held. Without such an independent investigation and fact finding, convictions against the workers violate international and Indian norms of due process.

    ICLR believes that, given these violations of Indian and international law and the likely miscarriage of justice that would occur if the workers were to be sentenced, the Maruti Suzuki workers should be released immediately.

    Thank you!

    Sincerely,

    Jeanne Mirer, Esq.

    President





    Statement of the International Commission for Labor Rights on the 13 Trade Unionists in India Facing Death Sentences Or Life Imprisonment.docx
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    Default URGENT * URGENT: India Court Issues Life Sentences to 13 Maruti-Suzuki Workers

    URGENT * URGENT: India Court Issues Life Sentences to 13 Maruti-Suzuki Workers; Trade Unions All Over India Call for Mobilizations on March 21!


    URGENT * URGENT * URGENT

    Today March 18, at 4 pm local time, Gurgaon sessions Court has sentenced 13 Maruti-Suzuki workers to life imprisonment, and 5 years for 4 others (read below the message from India).

    Trade union organisations, all over India call for mobilization next March 21st.

    More than ever, the international solidarity of labour and trade union organisations is needed to demand:

    IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF ALL THE CONDEMNED MARUTI WORKERS!

    On behalf of the International Workers Committee (IWC)
    Nambiath Vasudevan
    Daniel Gluckstein

    = = =

    COURT SPELLS "JUDGEMENT" ON MARUTI WORKERS

    Gurgaon sessions court has sentenced 13 workers to life imprisonment.

    The convicted are all members of the union body, and Jiyalal, a dalit worker who was wrongfully suspended by the management on speaking up against casteist abuse by a supervisor. The conviction of these workers is a shameful example of the judicial system playing to the tunes of corporate interests and will be challenged by the workers both in court and on the streets.

    Another 4 workers have been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, out of which they have already served 4 years in jail. 14 workers are to be released with Rs. 2,500 fine as having undergone their punishment.

    In the absolute lack of evidence, the court has been forced to admit that the 117 workers acquitted after having spent close three years in jail were illegally detained, and wrongfully confined and it was an unlawful arrest.

    Haryana government will have to answer to their crimes, for having ruined hundreds of lives of workers and their families at the behest of Maruti Suzuki.

    Reject the fallacy of this "rule of law" that serves the interests of the interests of the capitalist class rather than the toiling people!

    Release the 13 Maruti workers, the prisoners of class struggle!
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    Default Solidarity with Maruti workers : Let’s amplified the protest and unity to save the th

    Solidarity with Maruti workers : Let’s amplified the protest and unity to save the thirteen!


    Solidarity campaign with Maruti workers


    We have been informed:

    That the District Court will deliver its decision on sentences tomorrow march 18th at 4 pm Indian time. The prosecution and the Maruti Suzuki management demand the death penalty for the 13 workers convicted of murder. Eleven of them are the office bearers of the Trade-union.

    Today about 100 thousand workers mostly in auto industry near Maruti factory boycotted factory lunch in protest.

    There is not a minute to loose. Let’s amplify the protest and unity to save the thirteen!

    On behalf of the International Workers’ Committee (IWC).

    Daniel Gluckstein
    Nambiath Vasudevan

    (See in attachment the list of support today)

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    Default Free the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers!

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017.../pers-m20.html


    Free the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers!

    20 March 2017

    Workers across India, throughout Asia and around the world must come to the defense of the 13 Maruti Suzuki workers whom an Indian court has cruelly and vindictively sentenced to life imprisonment. Given the brutal conditions that exist in Indian prisons, the workers have been consigned to the equivalent of a living hell. But they are all innocent men. The only “crime” of which they are guilty is fighting brutal conditions at their auto factory near Delhi.

    Their convictions are the outcome of a monstrous frame-up mounted by the Suzuki Corporation, the police and judicial authorities, with the full complicity of India’s principal political parties—the Congress Party and the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    The savage sentences imposed on the Maruti Suzuki workers must be reversed! The workers must be freed and allowed to return to their families and their jobs.

    The 13 workers condemned to life in prison include the entire 12-member executive of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU). Workers at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar, Haryana car assembly plant established the MSWU in bitter struggle against a stooge union that had connived with the company in their exploitation.

    The framed-up workers were involved in a series of militant industrial actions and protests, including walkouts and sit-down strikes, that challenged the sweatshop regime Maruti Suzuki and other major employers, foreign- and domestically-owned, maintain in their Indian plants.

    The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site denounce unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms the persecution of these workers and 18 other workers who were convicted along with them on lesser charges. The Indian state and political establishment have conspired to frame up the Manesar Maruti Suzuki workers to intimidate workers across India and demonstrate to big business that they will act with utter ruthlessness to stamp out worker resistance to low wages, precarious contract-labor employment and brutal working conditions.

    Government officials, prosecutors and judges have repeatedly demanded that the Manesar Maruti Suzuki workers be harshly treated to “reassure” investors. At last Friday’s sentencing hearing, the prosecution went so far as to call for the 13 workers to be sentenced to hang.

    The pretext for the frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers and an August 2012 workforce purge in which the company fired and replaced 2,300 workers was a July 18, 2012 management-provoked altercation and fire that resulted in the death by asphyxiation of a company human resources manager, Awanish Kumar Dev.

    In finding the 13 guilty of “culpable homicide” in Dev’s death, the court willfully ignored its own finding that the police had colluded with the management of the Japanese-owned automaker and that evidence against the workers had been fabricated.

    Defense lawyers showed that the mass arrests the police carried out following the 2012 factory-floor altercation were based on lists of “suspects” provided by the company, that the witnesses were coached, and that they were systematically unable to identify those they had accused of rioting and other crimes.

    So discredited was the prosecution’s case that the court, in its March 10 verdict, had to exonerate 117 other Manesar Maruti Suzuki workers who the authorities had vehemently insisted were guilty.

    The prosecution’s entire case against the 13 workers revolved around the fire. Yet it could not provide a single shred of evidence linking any worker, let alone any of the 13 centrally targeted, to the starting of the fire. Nor could it say anything credible about where, when or how the fire was lit.

    The International Committee calls upon working people, students and youth throughout the world to fight for the freedom of the 13 Maruti Suzuki workers: Ram Meher, Sandeep Dhillon, Ram Bilas, Sarabjeet Singh, Pawan Kumar, Sohan Kumar, Ajmer Singh, Suresh Kumar, Amarjeet, Dhanraj Bambi, Pradeep Gujjar, Yogesh and Jiyalal.

    The ICFI is launching an international defense campaign aimed at mobilizing the industrial and independent political strength of the working class in India, South Asia and around the world to defeat the company-state vendetta against the Maruti Suzuki workers. The international working class must take up the fight for the immediate release of all of the framed-up workers, the vacating of all guilty verdicts, and the reinstatement of all the workers purged in 2012.

    The frame-up and jailing of the Maruti Suzuki workers is the most extreme example of a universal process. In every country, giant corporations and their political hirelings are waging a war against the working class.

    In the United States, Europe and Japan, right-wing politicians such as Donald Trump are attacking refugees and immigrant workers even as they accelerate the assault on the jobs, living standards and social programs of every section of the working class. Their aim is to channel even more money to the funding of criminal wars and the further enrichment of the corporate and financial aristocracy.

    In India, Bangladesh and across Asia, Africa and Latin America, transnationals such as Japanese-owned Suzuki have set up advanced production facilities where workers are subjected to the most brutal forms of exploitation. The political establishment and state machinery, as exemplified by the frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers, are at their beck and call when it comes to ruthlessly suppressing all worker resistance.

    It is not possible for workers in any country to defend themselves outside of uniting with their class brothers and sisters throughout the world in a common struggle to defend the social and democratic rights of all workers.

    Among Indian workers, there is enormous sympathy and support for the Maruti Suzuki workers. Fearing mass protests, government authorities in the Manesar-Gurgaon industrial belt—a huge automating and manufacturing center on the outskirts of India’s capital, Delhi—have repeatedly imposed blanket bans on all gatherings of more than five people and mobilized thousands of police.

    In India, as around the world, the trade unions and traditional “left” parties have completely abandoned the working class. The Stalinist-led All Trade Union Congress (ATUC) and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) have maintained, for the past five years, a criminal near-total silence on the victimization and frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers. Their websites and those of the political parties with which they are allied—the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist)—have kept silent on the March 10 conviction and March 18 sentencing of the workers.

    The Stalinists and other union apparatuses are adamantly opposed to a campaign linking the defense of the Maruti Suzuki workers to the mobilization of the working class in industrial and independent political struggle against contract labor, low wages and sweatshop working conditions.

    They have used their influence to prevail on the MSWU and the Manesar workers to expend their energies on appealing to the big-business politicians and Indian police and courts—that is, to the very institutions that enforce the dictatorship of big business, the growth of poverty and ever-increasing social inequality.

    Indian and Haryana state Congress Party-led governments presided over the initial state assault on the Maruti Suzuki workers. In the 14 months that preceded the mass arrests and purging of the Manesar workforce, the Haryana state government repeatedly mobilized police en masse to break workers’ actions and suggested that the MSWU was in cahoots with “terrorists” and other “outsiders” determined to “sabotage” the state’s economy. The BJP-led governments that subsequently came to power in Delhi and Haryana have seamlessly continued the company-state vendetta.

    The ICFI urges autoworkers and all WSWS readers and supporters to oppose this travesty and demand the immediate freedom of the imprisoned Maruti Suzuki workers. The plight of these workers must be brought to the attention of workers and all those who defend democratic rights the world over. Join us in fighting to develop an international defense campaign based on the mobilization of the class strength of the working class.

    The ICFI has launched an online petition demanding the relase of the Maruti Suzuki workers. We call on all our readers to sign this petition and to join a Facebook page set up to organize and mobilize support.

    Copyright © 1998-2017 World Socialist Web Site - All rights reserved
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    Default Message from the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union -- 13 Workers Get 'Life Sentence'

    Message from the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union -- 13 Workers Get 'Life Sentence': MSWU Provisional Committee Statement


    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    As you will read in the statement below, the first Day of Action to demand freedom for the framed Maruti unionists has been set for this coming Thursday, March 23 -- the day of martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. The coordinated action has been called by the Maruti Suzuki Mazdoor Sangh (MSMS), the joint platform of all 6 Maruti Suzuki factories; it is a regional "call of ‘Chalo Manesar’, for thousands of workers to gather and do a Protest rally in Manesar."

    On this day, unionists and activists in countries around the world will be organizing delegations to Indian Embassies and Consulates to deliver the statements gathered and to hold press conferences to get the message out widely that a heinous miscarriage of justice has just taken place against trade unionists in India -- an injury not only to workers in India but to workers the world over.

    The Modi regime's anti-union agenda in India is the one the bosses are seeking to impose in the United States and in every other country -- and if any sector of the labor movement dares to resist, they will be met by company goons and then framed for crimes they never committed. Ensuring freedom for the Maruti 13 in India musty therefore be a priority for all who are fighting for trade union rights.

    This is why we urge all supporters of this struggle for justice to organize delegations to the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC and to Consulates of India in major cities across the United States to express our most energetic protest against the court's decision to sentence the Maruti 13 to life imprisonment for no other reason than they were seeking to organize a union to defend their members' rights, wages and working conditions.

    If you are interested in organizing a delegation / press conference this coming March 27, please contact me ASAP at the email address above, and I will help you prepare a press packet, statement, and press contact information.

    In solidarity,

    Alan Benjamin
    Member, Continuations Committee
    Mumbai World Conference Against
    War, Exploitation and Precarious Labour

    - - - - - - - - - -

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: [email protected] <[email protected]>
    Date: Sun, Mar 19, 2017 at 5:26 AM

    13 Maruti Union members given ‘Life Sentence’ for Struggling for Union Formation

    & Abolition of the Contract Worker System

    Free the Maruti Workers!

    13 of our brothers have been given ‘life sentences’ - including 12 Maruti Suzuki Workers Union body members - on the baseless charge of ‘murder’ on 18 March afternoon by the Gurgaon Additional Sessions Court. 4 workers given 5 year sentences. 14 workers given 3 years, but have already spent 4 years in prison, so released. Of the earlier acquitted 117 workers who spent over 4 years in Jail, we do not yet know as to who will return the lost years. 148 already spent 4 years in Jail without bail since 2012 without bail and 2500 workers were earlier illegally terminated and then faced continual State repression.

    We reject the falsehood that this is an ‘objective judgement’. The Prosecution Case and Judicial Sentence is based on no evidences, false-witnesses and pure class hatred. See here for details of the arguments. Workers had no involvement in the unfortunate death of the pro-worker manager who helped in registering the Union, Mr Avanish Kumar Dev – this is conclusively proved in the legal case from the Defence. The conflict on the day of 18 July 2012 started with a supervisor attacking a Dalit worker Jiyalal – who was later made into ‘prime accused’ in the case – with caste-based abuse, and the worker’s suspension. The entire case is part of management conspiracy to finish off the Union, an attack on the Right to Union Formation itself, and the demands–particularly of abolition of Contract Worker System–it was raising and symbol it became for workers struggle.

    The nature of the legal case was informed from the outset by the vitriolic repressive manner in which thousands of workers were continually hounded after 18 July 2012 by the nexus of the management and government, including the Police, administration and labour departments. This Judgement – made in between turning Gurgaon and Manesar into Police camps - is directly anti-worker and heavily influenced by the interests of the Company management, to ‘set an example’, to sow fear and terror among all industrial workers in the country, particularly the belt of Gurgaon to Neemrana in Haryana and Rajasthan. The Prosecution in its final arguments – much similar to the Chandigarh HC order of May 2013 rejecting bail for workers – arguing for ‘death penalty’ for workers, talked of the need of restoring ‘confidence’ of capital, and the Prime Minister’s initiative of inviting global investors for ‘Make in India’. The confidence of these foreign and national capitalists depend on one thing: a cheap and compliant labour force, so no Unions or any raising of demands.

    By specifically targeting the entire Union body, this Company Raj wants to tell us that the workers movement, the Right to Union Formation and other Trade Union rights as well as Human Rights of workers in the country will be simply (with illegal and legal means) crushed by capitalists and the State. The attack on our Union body members is been simply because they have been the leadership of the struggle against the management practices of exploitation of labour in the factory and waged a legitimate long struggle for trade union rights and dignity since 2011 with the unity of permanent and contract workers, demanding the abolition of the contract worker system, dignity in the workplace, and an end to exploitative practices by the management. And finally registered our Union on 1 March 2012. This workers assertion was not acceptable to the management and they wanted to crush our Union, especially after submission of the Charter of Demands in April 2012 which argued for abolition of contract worker system. So they conspired and escalated the conflict on 18 July 2012.

    The struggle full of vitality and hope gave positive energies for other workers to fight similar exploitation in the industrial region and beyond from Honda to Rico to Asti to Shriram Pistons to Daikin AC to Bellsonica name a few. This collective workers assertion needed to be crushed and ‘taught a lesson’ in the interests of the company managements. Similar conflicts and cases of repression on workers movements have happened from Graziano Transmissions Noida, Regent Ceramics Puducherry, Pricol in Chennai and so on. This Judgement comes in the trail of these repression, increasing its tempo. And so, the industrial areas are being turned into Police Camps.

    Maruti Suzuki CEO RC Bhargava has said this is a 'class war'. And what the government is doing is to turn workers disputes with management into a ‘Law & Order problem’, to criminalize workers fighting for their Rights of Union formation and against the Contract System. We condemn this criminalization of workers.

    We are not afraid, nor tired with so much continuous repression. IT is only by increasing the tempo of the unity of workers beyond the divisions of permanent and contract, and independent class assertion against the continuous attacks of the current Company-State regime of exploitation-repression, that we can take the struggle forward. Lakhs of workers in industrial areas are already doing solidarity actions since 9 March, and on 16 March, over a lakh workers in Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Tamil Nadu did hunger strikes. On 18th immediately after the Judgement, 30000 workers in 5 Maruti Suzuki factories did an hour of ‘tool down’ solidarity strike even though the management tried to crush it as always by pressure to work and notice of 8 days pay cut. Since 16th March, there have been protests by various workers, students, human rights and other democratic organizations in over 20 cities, and deputations and solidarity positions and actions in 21 countries.

    On 23rd March – the day of martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh – the Maruti Suzuki Mazdoor Sangh (MSMS), the joint platform of all 6 Maruti Suzuki factories have given the call of ‘Chalo Manesar’, for thousands of workers to gather and do a Protest rally in Manesar. We call upon all pro-worker forces to participate in this Protest. We also feel the need for a National Day of Protest, tentatively on 4th April. In this decisive and crucial hour, we appeal to all workers and pro-worker forces to stand with the demand to free the convicted workers, and wage a protracted struggle to ensure justice and workers rights, and show solidarity in whatever ways possible.

    23 March ko Chalo Manesar!


    Free the Maruti Workers!

    End the Regime of Exploitation-Repression in the Industrial belts.


    Provisional Working Committee,

    Maruti Suzuki Workers Union

    18 March 2017


    Contact: 7011865350 (Ramniwas), 9911258717 (Khusiram) on behalf of the PWC, MSWU.

    Email: [email protected]

    See: marutisuzukiworkersunion.wordpress.com for updates




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    18 March Statement PWC-MSWU.pdf
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    Default Support grows for framed up Maruti Suzuki workers in India

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017.../maru-m21.html


    Support grows for framed up Maruti Suzuki workers in India

    By Jerry White

    21 March 2017

    Popular anger is growing in the Manesar-Gurgaon industrial belt on the outskirts of Delhi, India’s capital city, after a court meted out life sentences to 13 workers who were framed up on murder charges after a July 2012 labor confrontation at the country’s largest car assembly plant.

    Just hours after the sentences were read out in Gurgaon District Court, 30,000 workers at Maruti Suzuki plants and supplier factories in and around Manesar carried out a one-hour “tool down strike, ” despite management threats of an eight-day pay cut. The action halted production at the Maruti Suzuki assembly plant in Manesar, scene of the July 2012 confrontation, a second assembly plant in Gurgaon, Maruti Suzuki Powertrain, Suzuki Motorcycle India and two auto parts companies.

    The six area unions that called Saturday’s strike have announced a March 23 protest rally in Manesar, in defiance of a ban on all gatherings of 5 or more people that authorities have imposed in Gurgaon until March 25, precisely because they fear mass worker opposition to the frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers.

    The Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU), formed by the Manesar plant workers in a rebellion against a company stooge union, also reports that plans are being made for an April 4 national day of protest.

    MSWU President Ram Meher and the union’s eleven other executive members are among the 13 condemned to life imprisonment.

    Advocate Rajendra Pathak, a defense attorney for some of the framed up workers denounced the sentences, telling a World Socialist Web Site reporter, “The judiciary is comprised of the people who have the mindset of the capitalists. The rich have all the means with them in this capitalist society, the judges too.”

    Pathak said the workers will appeal their sentences and conviction in High Court. “There is no evidence on file to substantiate the charges of murder against the 13 convicted workers,” said Pathak. “But since the fight is against the capitalist society I cannot say for sure what the outcome of such a case would be. It could be prolonged for years … and the 13 will be forced to stay in custody until the final judgment.”

    Expressing the growing opposition of workers, a worker from a Maruti Suzuki feeder plant told the Hindustan Times, “Today it is Maruti, tomorrow it could be us in jail. We want our comrades to be released, but Maruti has already united workers more than any trade union could.”

    In addition to Ram Meher, the others facing life imprisonment are Sandeep Dhillon, Ram Bilas, Sarabjeet Singh, Pawan Kumar, Sohan Kumar, Ajmer Singh, Suresh Kumar, Amarjeet, Dhanraj Bambi, Pradeep Gujjar, Yogesh and Jiyalal.

    The workers are victims of ruthless frame-up mounted by the Suzuki Corporation, the police and judicial authorities, with the full complicity of India’s principal political parties—the Congress Party and the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) has initiated an international defense campaign to oppose this travesty and demand the immediate release of the Maruti Suzuki workers. An online petition has already been signed by workers and defenders of democratic rights throughout the world.

    The pretext for the frame-up was the death of human resource manager Awanish Kumar Dev on July 18, 2012, from asphyxiation during a fire that mysteriously erupted in the midst of a management-provoked altercation on the factory floor. There is absolutely no evidence that any worker, let alone member of the MWSU executive, had anything to do with the death of Dev, who was sympathetic to the workers and had even helped them register the MSWU on March 1, 2012.

    The July 18 altercation began when a supervisor, using caste-based slurs, accosted a worker, Jiyalal, on the factory floor. When other workers sprang to his defence, private security guards, already heavily present in the factory, provoked a violent clash with the workers during which the fire broke out, gutting a section of the factory.

    Jiyalal was the “prime accused” in the frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers and has been condemned along with the twelve MSWU executive members to life imprisonment.

    In the wake of the July 18 altercation, the government and state apparatus, working in league with the automaker, unleashed a furious campaign of state repression aimed at smashing the MWSU and any resistance from workers. Police swept through workers’ living quarters, beating and arresting hundreds of workers based on lists of “suspects” supplied by Suzuki management. The company then locked down the factory and purged the workforce by firing and replacing 2,300 workers in August 2012.

    This witch-hunt took place after more than a year of courageous struggle during which workers repeatedly mounted walkouts and sit-down strikes, successfully rebelled against a company stooge union and formed the MSWU to fight for their demands. Central to these are abolition of the hated Worker Contract System, which enables Suzuki to hire and fire thousands of low-paid temporary workers before they qualify for full-time positions. At present “company temps,” who are on a seven-month contract and then laid off for five months, are paid 14,000 rupees a month (US $214)—less than half the salary of permanent workers, who earn Rs 35,000 (US$536) or more.

    The MSWU’s interim leadership has issued a statement condemning the frame-up convictions and savage sentences as “anti-worker” and aimed at sowing “fear and terror among industrial workers in the country.” It noted that the prosecution’s final arguments “talked of the need of restoring ‘confidence’ of capital, and the Prime Minister’s initiative of inviting global investors for ‘Make in India’. The confidence of these foreign and national capitalists depend on one thing: a cheap and compliant labour force, so no Unions or any raising of demands.”

    The multinational auto company, meanwhile, is literally baying for the workers’ blood. Vikas Pahwa, counsel for Maruti Suzuki, told the Indian Express, the court “has sent a strong signal to labor workers and union members that they cannot take the law in their hands.” But the company, he added, will “challenge the judgment in the HC (High Court)” both because of the “inadequacy of the sentence against the convicts” and the court’s acquittal of 117 other workers.

    The prosecution argued all 13 defendants should hang at last Friday’s sentencing hearing. Instead the judge gave the workers life sentences—that is condemned them to a living hell in India’s brutal prison system.

    Of the 18 other workers convicted in the case on lesser charges, including rioting and causing injury, four were sentenced to five years in prison, and the other 14 to three years. After paying fines, the latter group were released due to time already served.

    Those who have now been freed—like the 117 workers the court was forced to exonerate in its March 10 judgment—endured lengthy and brutal imprisonment for more than three and in many cases four years. A September 2012 investigation by the civil rights group, the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), found that the arrested workers were beaten, subjected to injurious leg-stretching, and submerged in dirty water for long durations.

    The Modi government and its Congress Party predecessor have received crucial assistance in their drive to demonstrate to investors that they can stamp our worker resistance and provide them an endless supply of cheap labour from India’s major trade union federations. The unions have systematically isolated the Maruti Suzuki workers, while promoting illusions that they can get justice in the capitalist courts and by lobbying big business politicians.

    Neither of the Stalinist parliamentary parties have breathed a word about the conviction and sentencing of the Maruti Suzuki workers. Nor has the Communist Party India-allied All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).

    Yesterday, with anger mounting against the frame-up across India, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the union federation aligned with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM issued a perfunctory statement in which CITU President K. Hemalata expressed “distress and anguish” over the sentences.

    The Stalinist parties and their trade union affiliates have downplayed the frame-up and effectively shunned the Maruti Suzuki workers, because they support the ruling elite’s efforts to undercut China and make India the low-wage sweatshop of the world.

    During the September 2, 2016 national strike, which involved some 150 million workers, the CPM and CPI and their union affiliates never raised the demand for the freeing of the Maruti Suzuki workers. Instead they called for developing worker “solidarity” by seeking an alliance with the union apparatuses affiliated to the big business Congress Party and BJP.

    Like tens of millions of other workers throughout Asia, the Maruti Suzuki workers are largely drawn from impoverished agricultural regions and are now subject to the most brutal exploitation by transnational corporations. They have repeatedly demonstrated a heroic determination to fight in the face of relentless corporate-government violence. Workers throughout the world must come to their aid and demand the immediate release of the jailed Maruti Suzuki workers and the vacating of all convictions.

    Sign the “Free the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers!” petition here.



    Copyright © 1998-2017 World Socialist Web Site - All rights reserved
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    Default Report and Photos from Action/Delegation at Indian Consulate in San Francisco on 3/21

    Report and Photos from Action/Delegation at Indian Consulate in San Francisco on 3/21


    To: the Endorsers of the Open Letter to Indian Ambassador Navtej Sarna

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    On very short notice we held a rally in front of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco to demand the release from jail of the Maruti-Suzuki workers. It was a small but spirited rally.

    After the rally, four or five of us knocked at the door of the Consulate and asked to deliver our Open Letter to Mr. Venkatesan Ashok, consul general of India in San Francisco. We were not allowed in, but the Deputy Consul in charge of community affairs came down from his office, took our letter, listened to our demands, and promised that our Open Letter would be transmitted to Ambassador Navtej Sarna in Washington, DC.

    The Labor Video Project videotaped the rally presentations and the exchange with the Deputy Consul. At this moment, I don't have a link to the video report, but it should be available soon.

    Two important greetings were sent to the rally: one from Nambiath Vasudevan, chair of the Trade Union Solidarity Committee in Mumbai (and one of the central organizers of the defense campaign for the Maruti-Suzuki 13 in his capacity as co-convener of the International Workers Committee), and the other from Anand Singh, president of UNITE HERE Local 2 in San Francisco. Copies of both these messages are included below, along with the statement by Taking Aim that was read by Ralph Schoenman.

    On Thursday, March 23, an important rally (and possible delegation) will be held at the Indian Consulate in New York City at the initiative of the Global Worker Solidarity Network. We are hoping to receive a full report from their action.

    Another target date will be April 4.

    Thanks to everyone for your involvement and support. Together we will win the liberation of the Maruti-Suzuki 13!

    In solidarity,

    Alan Benjamin

    * * * * * *


    MESSAGE from Nambiath Vasudevan

    Comrade Alan Benjamin,
    Greetings from India!

    In the true spirit of international trade union solidarity Indian workers in the Maruti-Suzuki plant have received unprecedented support against exploitation and oppression being faced by them and now there is global condemnation of the collaboration of employers and government in meting out injustice to 13 comrades condemned to face life term in jail for no crime committed by them. From 2012, from the inception of their union, Maruti workers demanded right to organisation and right to represent and defend contract workers; they fought against injustice.

    I am glad to know there will be a protest action in San Francisco on March 21under the leadership of United Public Workers for Action and the US supporters of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation For a Workers’ International. Your solidarity will go a long way in steeling and strengthening the determination of Maruti workers to face any eventuality. We heard Comrade Ram Meher (one of the 13 facing life term) saying at the World Conference in Mumbai in November 2016 where he was a delegate from Maruti-Suzuki union that even death penalty would not deter them a bit in their fight against capitalist exploitation.

    In Mumbai too workers would be organising a protest demonstration on March 21. Protest will be intensified in the coming days. On April 4 there would be an all India Protest action.

    We say : Maruti workers are innocent. Save the 13. Justice for all Maruti workers. End contract labour system. End precarious employment.

    Congratulations to sisters and brothers of San Francisco in standing together with Maruti workers in India. Wish you all success on March 21 in San Francisco.

    N. Vasudevan
    Convenor, Trade Union Solidarity Committee

    * * * * * * * * * *


    MESSAGE from Anand Singh

    Alan,

    Unfortunately I am not available and can't send a representative as we have an all-day committee meeting tomorrow. If it's helpful, I submit the following message:

    I join the ranks of leaders and activists who demand an immediate release of the Maruti 13.

    As a union leader of Indian descent, I am appalled that working people should be imprisoned despite lack of real evidence substantiating the charges levied. This draconian sentencing serves no purpose other than to intimidate and silence working people and has no place in a country founded on the very principle of justice.

    Anand Singh
    President
    Unite Here Local 2

    * * * * * * * * * *


    STATEMENT by TAKING AIM, read by Ralph Schoenman

    Free the Maruti 13!

    An International Call for Solidarity from TAKING AIM:

    Join with United Public Workers for Action together with U.S. Supporters of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation and their campaign For a Workers’ International.

    Workers across the length and breadth of India have come to the defense of the Maruti 13 - leaders and grass roots activists of the Maruti-Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) framed and sentenced to life imprisonment by an Indian court under the most brutal conditions.

    The sadistic targeting of these rank and file workers draws on caste hatred of the Dalit - whose defiance of the caste system infuses their persecution with racist and feudal malice underlying the institutional venom of the privileged across India.

    These dominant forces in India sought to impose a stooge union to strangle resistance. The grass-roots elected executive of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSW) galvanized support of workers at the Maruti-Suzui Haryana Car Assembly plant.

    Their real “crime" was to lead a series of militant industrial actions mobilizing popular support through walkouts and sit-down strikes that threatened not merely the sweatshop regime of Maruti Suzuki but ubiquitous conditions imposed by major employers, foreign and domestic in plants across India.

    The current frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki draws upon a management inflicted fire of July 18, 2012 followed by a feverish but failed attempt to blame the workers, deploying paid “witnesses” unable to provide a shred of evidence that linked to a single worker, let alone the 13 worker leaders centrally targeted. The company then purged 2,300 workers and to this day the company has been unable to establish where, when and how the fire was lit.

    The coordinated campaign of international resistance gives voice globally to the joint platform of the six Maruti-Suzuki factories - a regional call and summons to oppressed workers everywhere: “CHALO” Manesar! (“Let’s go!)





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    Default Reports on SF and NYC Actions at Consulates of India to Demand Freedom for the Maruti

    Reports on SF and NYC Actions at Consulates of India to Demand Freedom for the Maruti 13!


    Report on March 21 Protest & Delegation at the Consulate of India in San Francisco to Demand Freedom for the Maruti 13!

    By Alan Benjamin
    (International Workers Committee)

    On very short notice, labor rights activists held a rally in front of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco to demand the release from jail of the Maruti-Suzuki workers. It was a small but spirited rally.

    After the rally, four or five of us knocked at the door of the Consulate and asked to deliver our Open Letter (initiated by the International Workers Committee) to Mr. Venkatesan Ashok, consul general of India in San Francisco. We were not allowed in, but the Deputy Consul in charge of community affairs came down from his office, took our letter, listened to our demands, and promised that our Open Letter would be transmitted to Ambassador Navtej Sarna in Washington, DC.

    The Labor Video Project videotaped the rally presentations and the exchange with the Deputy Consul. The video can be accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NWEPxDZ4_w&t=343s .

    + YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


    Two important greetings were sent to the rally: one from Nambiath Vasudevan, chair of the Trade Union Solidarity Committee in Mumbai (and one of the central organizers of the defense campaign for the Maruti-Suzuki 13 in his capacity as co-convener of the International Workers Committee), and the other from Anand Singh, president of UNITE HERE Local 2 in San Francisco. Copies of both these messages are included below, along with the statement by Taking Aim that was read by Ralph Schoenman [see photos attached].

    Thanks to everyone for your support. Together we will win the liberation of the Maruti-Suzuki 13!

    - - - - -

    MESSAGE to S.F. Rally from Nambiath Vasudevan

    Comrade Alan Benjamin,
    Greetings from India!

    In the true spirit of international trade union solidarity Indian workers in the Maruti-Suzuki plant have received unprecedented support against exploitation and oppression being faced by them and now there is global condemnation of the collaboration of employers and government in meting out injustice to 13 comrades condemned to face life term in jail for no crime committed by them. From 2012, from the inception of their union, Maruti workers demanded right to organisation and right to represent and defend contract workers; they fought against injustice.

    I am glad to know there will be a protest action in San Francisco on March 21under the leadership of United Public Workers for Action and the US supporters of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation For a Workers' International. Your solidarity will go a long way in steeling and strengthening the determination of Maruti workers to face any eventuality. We heard Comrade Ram Meher (one of the 13 facing life term) saying at the World Conference in Mumbai in November 2016 where he was a delegate from Maruti-Suzuki union that even death penalty would not deter them a bit in their fight against capitalist exploitation.

    In Mumbai too workers would be organising a protest demonstration on March 21. Protest will be intensified in the coming days. On April 4 there would be an all India Protest action.

    We say : Maruti workers are innocent. Save the 13. Justice for all Maruti workers. End contract labour system. End precarious employment.

    Congratulations to sisters and brothers of San Francisco in standing together with Maruti workers in India. Wish you all success on March 21 in San Francisco.

    N. Vasudevan
    Convenor, Trade Union Solidarity Committee

    - - - - -

    MESSAGE to S.F. Rally from Anand Singh

    Alan,

    Unfortunately I am not available and can't send a representative as we have an all-day committee meeting tomorrow. If it's helpful, I submit the following message:

    I join the ranks of leaders and activists who demand an immediate release of the Maruti 13.

    As a union leader of Indian descent, I am appalled that working people should be imprisoned despite lack of real evidence substantiating the charges levied. This draconian sentencing serves no purpose other than to intimidate and silence working people and has no place in a country founded on the very principle of justice.

    Anand Singh
    President
    Unite Here Local 2
    * * * * * * * * * *

    STATEMENT to S.F. Rally by TAKING AIM, read by Ralph Schoenman

    Free the Maruti 13!
    An International Call for Solidarity from TAKING AIM:

    Join with United Public Workers for Action together with U.S. Supporters of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation and their campaign For a Workers' International.

    Workers across the length and breadth of India have come to the defense of the Maruti 13 - leaders and grass roots activists of the Maruti-Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) framed and sentenced to life imprisonment by an Indian court under the most brutal conditions.

    The sadistic targeting of these rank and file workers draws on caste hatred of the Dalit - whose defiance of the caste system infuses their persecution with racist and feudal malice underlying the institutional venom of the privileged across India.

    These dominant forces in India sought to impose a stooge union to strangle resistance. The grass-roots elected executive of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSW) galvanized support of workers at the Maruti-Suzui Haryana Car Assembly plant.

    Their real "crime" was to lead a series of militant industrial actions mobilizing popular support through walkouts and sit-down strikes that threatened not merely the sweatshop regime of Maruti Suzuki but ubiquitous conditions imposed by major employers, foreign and domestic in plants across India.

    The current frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki draws upon a management inflicted fire of July 18, 2012 followed by a feverish but failed attempt to blame the workers, deploying paid "witnesses" unable to provide a shred of evidence that linked to a single worker, let alone the 13 worker leaders centrally targeted. The company then purged 2,300 workers and to this day the company has been unable to establish where, when and how the fire was lit.

    The coordinated campaign of international resistance gives voice globally to the joint platform of the six Maruti-Suzuki factories -- a regional call and summons to oppressed workers everywhere: "CHALO" Manesar! ("Let's go!)

    * * * * * * * * * *


    Report on March 23 Protest at the Consulate of India in New York City to Demand Freedom for the Maruti 13!

    By Suzanne Adely
    (Global Workers Solidarity Center)

    Today [March 23] in New York City, with only a few days notice, 25+ supporters of labor & human rights gathered in very cold weather at the NY Indian Consulate to demand the release of the Maruti Suzuki Auto Workers. They demanded the release of 13 Workers Sentenced to LIFE on trumped up charges with NO EVIDENCE linking them to the crimes in question, in retaliation for their union activity.

    Consulate Officials were given written statements of support signed by unions & human rights organizations & supporters! Free the Maruti Workers! Free the Maruti 13!

    We were joined by Global Workers Solidarity Center, ICLR, NLG, Haiti Liberte, PSC-CUNY, Labor for Palestine, NYCSJP, BAYAN, WBAI, UNiTE HERE, Workers' World, Pakistan Freedom Forum, and several rank-and file workers.

    [See photos attached.]

    - 30 -




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  12. #12
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    Default International Solidarity for the wrongly convicted workers of Maruti-Suzuki in India!

    Int'l Automotive Workers Coordination: International Solidarity for the wrongly convicted workers of Maruti-Suzuki in India!


    On Friday, March 24, 2017 4:05 PM, ICOG <[email protected]> wrote:

    - International Automotive Workers Coordination

    International Coordinating Group
    Internationale Koordinierungsgruppe
    Grupo Internacional de Coordinación
    Grupo Internacional de Coordenação
    Groupe de coordination internationale


    Email: [email protected]; Homepage: www.iaar.de
    Donation-Account: Erwin Dietrich
    IBAN DE58 7001 0080 0349 3138 02 – BIC PBNKDEFF


    ---


    23rd of March 2017

    International Solidarity for the wrongly convicted
    workers of Maruti-Suzuki in India!


    We most strongly protest against the scandalous conviction of 13 strike activists and trade union leaders among the Maruti-Suzuki workers to life imprisonment and of 18 more workers to long prison terms by Judge R.P. Goyal on the 18th of March, 2017, in Gurgaon/India!

    The struggle of the Suzuki-Maruti workers in Manesar/India globally represents a successful struggle for union organising as well as the unity of permanent staff and temporary workers. In many years of protests and strikes they enforced with courage, heart and steadfastness the foundation of their Suzuki-Maruti Workers Union (MSWU) on March 1st, 2012, and also negotiations about a "charter of demands" concerning the abolition of the contract and temporary work system since April, 2012!

    The management organised a series of provocations against the successful development of the trade union organisation as well as to boycott the negotiations, culminating in a fake dismissal of a worker who defended himself against discriminating insults from a superior. 200 "bouncers" (gangs of thugs) and police forces quelled the following strike of the whole staff for his reinstatement with brute force. Without any evidence the workers are being held responsible for the death of the personnel manager Awanish Kumar Dev during these struggles. 148 strike leaders were slandered as "terrorists" and spent four years in prison with no trial whatsoever! Almost all 2.500 workers have been dismissed illegally resulting in an almost complete replacement of the staff.

    This criminalisation is an attack against the workers of Maruti-Suzuki and their families, against the Indian workers and trade union movement and against us, the automotive workers worldwide. Together with the fascistic Modi government the Suzuki group tries to fight union organising, but they will fail! The workers are not intimidated: On the 18th of March 30.000 workers in five Suzuki-Maruti plants went on strike for one hour immediately after the sentencing. Before that 100.000 workers of the region boycotted lunch and dinner. A national day of protest is being prepared for April 4th.

    The International Automotive Workers Coordination calls to:

    - Organise solidarity for the convicted automotive workers of Maruti-Suzuki!

    - Free the convicted Suzuki-Maruti workers – Financial compensation for the workers illegally imprisoned for up to 31 months!

    Become a member of the International Automotive Workers Coordination to cooperate and coordinate our transnational and group-wide struggles!


    For the International Automotive Workers Coordination
    Carlos Luiz Prates Mancha (Brazil), Diego Rejon Bayo (Spain) Jörn Kleffel (Germany)


    Declarations of solidarity: [email protected],
    Please Copy to: [email protected]






    3 attachments
    IAC2019_10.014_FR_Solidarity Suzuki-Maruti-Workers_March 2017.pdf
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    Default IWC : Solidarity campaign with Maruti workers (March 27)

    IWC : Solidarity campaign with Maruti workers (March 27)


    Solidarity campaign with Maruti workers

    The Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) has circulated a report on the protest day, held in Manesar, on the 23rd of March :

    “Historic rally and workers protest in Manesar today, on the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, demanding immediate release of Maruti workers! Since, 18 July 2012, no major workers gathering/rally was allowed in Manesar industrial belt. Today, that jinx was broken. Ignoring section 144, thousands marched. Yesterday, the president of Maruti union was told repeatedly by Manesar police station to call off the program due to section 144 imposed till 26 March. When the workers ignored and moved ahead, the administration became defensive. From Maruti 4 plants, Honda 2plants, Hero 2 plants, Bellsonica, Daikin, Rico, Sunbeam, FCC, Munjal Showa, Munjal Kiriu, FMI, Endurance, Hilex, Omax, Lumax, Satyam Auto, Bajaj Motors, Talbros, Dhigania, GKN Ahresty, Sona Steering and many more companies, thousands of workers rallied from their company gate to Tau Devilal Park. More than 2000 workers rallied from Maruti Manesar plant. After 2011, such a spirited rally in Manesar was not seen! More than 500 workers came from Honda marching. Bellsonica, Daikin, Sunbeam, FCC workers had their own rallies to the Park with hundreds of workers in each rally. The union has declared 4th April as the all India protest day (also, International solidarity day) and appealed for fundraising.”

    The International Workers Committee (IWC) informs that motions, delegations, actions of protest are multiplying in more than 30 countries (Afghanistan, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, France, Germany, Great-Britain, Greece, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Mauritius, Mexico, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa/Azania, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America, Zimbabwe).

    We call upon all the organized working class and democratic forces at the international level and in each country to discuss the proposal launched by the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU), and to decide under the forms they will consider appropriate to take part in this international solidarity day, on the 4th of April, to “free the Maruti 13”.

    Nambiath VASUDEVAN,
    Daniel GLUCKSTEIN
    On behalf of the International workers’ committee (IWC)
    March 27, 2017

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  14. #14
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    Default IWC: URGENT Update on Maruti 13 Defense Campaign

    IWC: URGENT Update on Maruti 13 Defense Campaign


    To all the correspondents of the International Workers Committee,
    To all working class and democratic organisations around the world,

    Dear friends and comrades,

    We forward to you the following documents,

    Fraternal greetings.

    On behalf of the International Workers Committee (IWC),
    Nambiath VASUDEVAN
    Daniel GLUCKSTEIN

    2 attachments
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  15. #15
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    Default Message from cde. Jitender (MSWU) to April 5 protest at Consulate of India in S.F.

    [Maruti] Message from cde. Jitender (MSWU) to April 5 protest at Consulate of India in S.F.; ALSO statement at S.F. rally by Ralph Schoenman (Taking Aim)

    Message from cde. Jitender, a member of the Provisional Working Committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU), to the April 5 protest action in front of the Consulate of India in San Francisco

    [Note: This message, delivered through an interpreter (cde. Amit of the MSWU), was presented live over a phone hookup that was broadcast to all the rally participants and that drew many of the youth of Indian descent who were at the Consulate for visa matters. It was close to midnight in Delhi, where both Indian unionists are based, when this live phone hookup took place. The rally was sponsored jointly by United Public Workers For Action (UPWA) and U.S. Supporters of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers International (IWC).]

    Alan Benjamin (co-organizer of the S.F. rally): Comrades Jitender and Amit: We are gathered here in San Francisco in front of the Consulate of India to demand that the Indian authorities immediately release all the wrongfully convicted Maruti Suzuki workers, especially the 13 unionists sentenced to life imprisonment. We thank you for staying up late to take this phone call, and we would like to ask if you could please give us a report on the protest actions that took place across India both on April 4 and April 5.

    Cde. Jitender, through an interpreter: We would like to begin by extending our great salute to all of you, and particularly to the San Francisco Labor Council, which on 3 April passed a resolution in support of the Maruti workers that was an inspiration to all the workers here in India. For that we are very grateful to you. Your protest demonstration in San Francisco today is also an inspiration to us.

    The latest protest demonstrations started on 4 April in 17 states across India, in more than 35 cities. The actions covered all the major cities of India. Similar protest demonstrations took place across India today [5 April]. We haven’t received all the reports yet, as we just returned from the demonstration in Gurgaon in which the Maruti workers took part -- just as they did in the protest demonstration on 4 April.

    We are also receiving information that demonstrations and other actions took place today in cities all around the world in support of the Maruti workers.

    The Provisional Working Committee of the MSWU is now passing all this information along to the comrades in jail who were given life sentences. It is very inspiring to them as well. Workers’ solidarity, both across India and internationally, will give us the strength to carry on the struggle; it will give us the strength to prevail!

    Steve Zeltzer (co-organizer of the S.F. rally): It is very important that we are able to hold this rally jointly with you over this phone hookup. As workers, we are connected internationally; we work for, and are exploited by, the same transnational corporations, so we need to act internationally. Can you please tell us about the conditions at Maruti Suzuki that led you to organize a union, and could you also tell us about the repression you have faced trying to build your union and to organize the workers’ fightback against capitalist exploitation?

    Cde. Jitender, through an interpreter: The Maruti Suzuki plant started its production in 2006. The working conditions were inhumane: Workers were not allowed even to go to the toilet or to drink water. The wages were so low they were near the minimum wage. These issues were so serious that the workers demanded a union to have the right to collective bargaining.

    But the management did not allow the union. In 2011,the workers had to wage three strikes to achieve their union. They finally got their union registered, but the management was hell-bent on crushing the union. And that is why on 18 July 2012 a kind of clash took place, where the management tried to victimize the workers.

    Before that event, the main demand of the workers was the permanency of the contract workers. It is still a central demand. In India contract workers have been employed in industries, including in Maruti, in great numbers -- particularly to break the unity of workers. But here in Maruti, from the beginning the union demanded the permanency of contract workers, and it emphasized the need for unity between permanent and contract workers.

    Thus, after 18 July 2012, when management goons attacked the workers and the conspiracy was made to victimize the workers, the multinational corporations and the Indian government seized upon these events to wage a class war against the workers, a class war that is still going on today.

    Management, the judiciary, and the government still want to terrorize the workers as part of this class war against the workers. They are out to crush the unions, particularly this movement. The repression has continued for the last five or six years. This issue of punishing the Maruti workers and giving them life sentences is a symbolic act to terrorize the workers’ movement.

    Alan Benjamin: On behalf of all of us gathered here at this rally, we thank you for your live message. We pledge our ongoing support to your struggle. We will deepen this solidarity campaign in our unions, our workplaces, and our communities till the Maruti Suzuki 13 and all the jailed Maruti Suzuki workers are free.

    And we will conclude this live hookup by chanting in unison, “Free the Maruti Suzuki Workers!”

    * * * * * * * * * *


    Remarks by Ralph Schoenman, Taking Aim

    (April 5, 2017 International Day of Solidarity With the Maruti Suzuki 13 at the Indian Consulate, San Francisco)

    Sisters and Brothers,

    The life sentences imposed by an Indian court are an emblem of the brutal conditions that define the waking hours of working people in sweatshop plants across India.

    No small part of this legal terror consists of lesser charges arising from the frame-up. These were designed to silence worker voices of protest against brutal conditions that are a touchstone of the daily work routine at Maruti Suzuki and torment workers exploited relentlessly by transnational corporations operating globally in the capitalist world.

    In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a touchstone of his “Make in India” campaign an assurance to investors that the Indian State will secure for foreign exploiters a continuous supply of cheap labor.

    Everything flows from this subordination of State power to foreign Capital, notably a reign of terror administered through State and legal institutions that serve as a corporate enforcement arm on a daily basis.

    When Suzuki Motor Corporation announced to its shareholders that SMC controls some 50 percent of India’s passenger vehicle market it went on to boast that the profits extracted from the sweat and blood of oppressed workers would achieve unprecedented heights in an additional 125 countries.

    As a result, Suzuki surpassed its rivals Toyota and Nissan in 2016 -- in growth as in the onerous conditions Imposed on its brutalized workforce.

    This is the dynamic of persecution and frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki 13. The staged fire and the terror that followed it are, in their own way, a measure of ruler panic whose ruthlessness is a step too far -- at once an incitement and a survival summons to worker resistance.

    The rebellion of the damned seized upon the arrogant proclamations of Maruti Suzuki in Manesar no less than those of Gurgaon in Haryana State – which opened production in Gujarat in 2017 by boasting of a projected production schedule of 1.5 million cars a year -- or one car every 12 seconds!

    Maruti Suzuki was rewarded by Fortune Magazine, which proclaimed it one of India’s “most admired companies” even as the English language channel NDTV designated Maruti Suzuki “2016’s Car Manufacturer of the Year.”

    Sisters and Brothers! The ruined lives of the enslaved once fueled the reckless braggadocio of a Marie Antoinette whose insolent response to the starving was “Let them eat cake!”

    Workers across the length and breadth of India have responded as did the abandoned of the earth who gave us the French Revolution.

    Raise the banner of resistance high, brothers and sisters. The emancipation of the wretched of the earth awaits us.

    Here and everywhere!

    CHALO MANESAR!
  16. #16
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    Default Special 4-page report on the Maruti Suzuki Workers Defense Campaign in the US

    Special 4-page report on the Maruti Suzuki Workers Defense Campaign in the US


    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Please find attached a 4-page special report on the campaign in the United States organized by the U.S. supporters of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation, for a Workers International (IWC).

    Please feel to make copies and distribute it widely to help us obtain new organizational and individual endorsements of the Open Letter to the Indian Ambassador in Washington.

    Many thanks for your continued support,

    In solidarity,

    Alan Benjamin

    Maruti Suzuki Workers Special IWC Report.pdf
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  17. #17
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    Default May Day, urgent message

    May Day, urgent message

    The 1st of May is the international day of struggle of the working class.

    In all countries around the world, under different forms, the workers and their organisations will demonstrate to defend their rights, express their demands.

    The origin of May Day is the bloody massacre of strikers in Chicago in 1886 and the rigged trial in which six trade union activists were sentenced to death and executed in 1887.

    Today, 130 years later, 13 Maruti Suzuki workers and trade unionists in India will spend this May Day in jail, after having been sentenced to life imprisonment, when their only “crime” was to form an independent trade union, and to fight for the workers’ demands.

    Since that shameful verdict, all over the world, a campaign has been developed in the labour movement. Thousands of protest letters and resolutions have been sent to Indian embassies around the world, from trade union and political organisations and activists.

    In India, huge demonstrations have taken place on April 4th and 5th, eleven trade union centers have together called for the freedom of Maruti class prisoners.

    On the eve of May Day 2017, we propose to all working class organisations and activists, in the forms they will decide, and respecting the form under which the 1st of May will be celebrated by the labour movement in each country, to address to the Maruti Suzuki prisoners a message of solidarity.

    Long live international solidarity of the working class!
    Free the Maruti Suzuki 13 immediately!

    Nambiath VASUDEVAN,
    Daniel GLUCKSTEIN,

    On behalf of the International Workers Committee (IWC)

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    Default Requesting your endorsement to Jailed Maruti Suzuki Unionists [by 4-30, 7pm PST]

    Requesting your endorsement of May Day Greeting to Jailed Maruti Suzuki Unionists in India


    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    We received a last-minute request from Vasudevan Nambiath and Daniel Gluckstein, co-conveners of the International Workers Committee (IWC), calling on supporters of the imprisoned Maruti Suzuki trade unionists to please send them a May Day greeting in their prison cells.

    I am writing this letter to supporters of labor rights across the country with the request that you please sign onto the Solidarity Message from the United States to the Maruti Suzuki Imprisoned Unionists, which is included below (after the message from the IWC co-conveners).

    I need to hear back from you before 7 pm on Sunday (April 30) Pacific Standard Time, so that I can forward the message with a complete list of endorsers to the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union and to the IWC co-conveners in time for the jailed unionists to receive it Monday, May 1st in India. You are invited, of course, to also send your own personal greetings.

    All solidarity messages should be sent to:

    Vasudevan Nambiath at <[email protected]>
    Daniel Gluckstein at <[email protected]>
    Maruti Suzuki Workers Union <[email protected]>

    Please send a copy of your personal solidarity message, should you be sending one, to <[email protected]>.

    Hoping to hear back from you very soon with your endorsement of this Solidarity Message,

    In solidarity,

    Alan Benjamin
    Member of the Continuations Committee of the
    Mumbai World Conference Against War,
    Exploitation and Precarious Labour

    P.S. Please find attached the report, in pdf format, on the April 4-5 Days of Action in support of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union

    * * * * * * * * * *


    Message from IWC co-conveners urging solidarity messages for Maruti Suzuki 13

    Dear comrades and friends,

    The 1st of May is the international day of struggle of the working class.

    In all countries around the world, under different forms, the workers and their organisations will demonstrate to defend their rights, express their demands.

    The origin of May Day is the bloody massacre of strikers in Chicago in 1886 and the rigged trial in which six trade union activists were sentenced to death and executed in 1887.

    Today, 130 years later, 13 Maruti Suzuki workers and trade unionists in India will spend this May Day in jail, after having been sentenced to life imprisonment, when their only "crime" was to form an independent trade union and to fight for the workers' demands.

    Since that shameful verdict, all over the world a campaign has been developed in the labour movement. Thousands of protest letters and resolutions have been sent to Indian embassies around the world, from trade union and political organisations and activists.

    In India, huge demonstrations have taken place on April 4th and 5th, eleven trade union confederations have together called for the freedom of Maruti class prisoners.

    On the eve of May Day 2017, we propose to all working class organisations and activists, in the forms they will decide and respecting the form under which the 1st of May will be celebrated by the labour movement in each country, to address to the Maruti Suzuki prisoners a message of solidarity.

    Long live the international solidarity of the working class!
    Free the Maruti Suzuki 13 immediately!

    signed/
    Nambiath VASUDEVAN
    Daniel GLUCKSTEIN

    * * * * * * * * * *


    PLEASE ENDORSE THE
    Solidarity Message (see below) from the United States to the Maruti Suzuki Imprisoned Unionists

    [ ] Please add my name to the list of endorsers of the Solidarity Message from the United States to the Maruti Suzuki Imprisoned Unionists

    NAME

    UNION / ORGANIZATION & TITLE (list if for id. only)

    CITY

    STATE

    EMAIL ADDRESS

    (fill out the coupon and return it asap to <[email protected]>)

    - - - - -


    Solidarity Message from the United States to the Maruti Suzuki Imprisoned Unionists

    Attention: Imprisoned Maruti Suzuki trade unionists
    c/o Vasudevan Nambiath at <[email protected]>
    Daniel Gluckstein at <[email protected]>
    Maruti Suzuki Workers Union <[email protected]>

    Dear comrades,

    We, the undersigned, join trade unionists and labor rights activists the world over to demand your freedom in the aftermath of the wrongful convictions that have sentenced 13 of you to life imprisonment and four others to five years in prison. It is clear to us and to all working people who look into the matter that you received these sentences for no other crime than organizing a union for the workers of Maruti Suzuki to defend their rights and improve their wages and working conditions.

    We join with the San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO), which in its resolution of April 3, 2017, "calls upon the authorities in India to drop all charges against the imprisoned Maruti Suzuki workers and immediately release them from prison." We pledge that we will redouble our efforts -- together with the International Workers Committee and with all the unions, political organizations and activists the world over that have embraced this defense campaign -- to secure your release from prison. We will not relent in this effort, motivated by the strength of your example in defense of workers' rights.

    We send you our solidarity greetings from the United States on the eve of May Day, the international day of struggle of the working class -- a day in which we pay tribute to the martyrs in Chicago who led the way for an 8-hour workday. We will be mobilizing in streets across the United States to demand justice for all working people -- in particular, immigrant workers -- all of whom have come under intense attack by the bosses and our government.

    One bill recently submitted to the Congress, with the support of Trump, aims at gutting trade unions and their right to organize in the name of a so-called "Right to Work." At the same time, an additional $54 billion is being earmarked for the war budget, which will sow further death and destruction around the world. This is funding that is being taken away from desperately needed social programs here at home.

    It is appropriate that as we honor the martyrs of Chicago, we pay tribute to all of you who are languishing in prison in India for your steadfast commitment to workers' rights and to independent trade unionism. We send you our comradely greetings, and we commend you for your strength and determination in the face of adversity. You will be in our thoughts as we mobilize on May Day.

    In solidarity,

    Follows list of endorsers.
    [Please add your name, see endorsement coupon above]
  19. #19
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    Default Sri Lankan free trade zone workers call for release of Maruti Suzuki workers

    via wsws.org

    Workers at Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest free trade zone condemn the frameup and jailing of Indian autoworkers and call for a united international campaign.

    More...
  20. #20
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    Default Lawyer for framed up Maruti Suzuki workers: The court “committed violence” to the “pr

    via wsws.org

    Rebecca John, who represented the Maruti Suzuki workers in the final stages of their four-and-a-half-year-long court case, spoke with the WSWS last month as she completed work on an appeal.

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