Indian Suzuki workers lynch and hospitalise 40 managers

Indian Suzuki workers lynch and hospitalise 40 managers

Following the unfair suspension of a worker, Suzuki management hire hundreds of goons to attack workers. The workers respond by lynching and hospitalising over 40 managers, killing at least one.

India’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki has closed down one of its two factories after a labour dispute boiled over into riots that have seen at least one person dead and scores of others injured.

The factory closed its doors on Wednesday night due to a serious fire started by workers. A badly charred body found in the conference room is waiting to be identified.

A statement released by the company (a subsidiary of Japan’s Suzuki) reports that over forty managers and executives have been hospitalised with a variety of injuries.

The dispute is generally a result of rising inflation, reducing wages, attacks on terms and conditions, and the use of causal labour to bypass labour laws.
Things came to a head on the 18th July when a supervisor verbally abused a worker. Without no investigation or evidence of wrongdoing, the management decided to suspend the victimised worker.

Workers became angry at the suspension and got the union involved. As the union attempted to negotiate, the bosses brought in hundreds of hired bouncers, who locked the factory gates, and on the behest of the management, attacked workers with weapons.

A union official reported that:

Quote:
“They [the bouncers], joined by some of the managerial staff and police later, beat up a number of workers, who have had to be hospitalised with serious injuries. The bouncers … also destroyed company property and set fire to a portion of the factory. The gates were later opened to oust the workers and enforce a lockout by the company.”

The government and police has shown no interest in pursuing any of the hired thugs who started the violence, but are instead hunting over 3,000 workers on the charge of murder (91 arrested so far).

The bosses have now locked out all workers at the Manesar plant, which along with its sister plant, produces over 40% of India’s cars.

Working conditions at the factory are horrendous. A car is produced every 38 seconds. If a car is a second late, workers get a pay cut, if they are a second late clocking in they lose a day’s pay, if they are a second late back from a break, they have their salaries reduced.

India’s auto industry is no stranger to this type of dispute – in 2008 a group of workers at Graziano Transmission, lynched the Chief Executive and crushed his skull with hammers and metal bars. Honda, Ford, General Motors, and Hyundai have all seen serious labour unrest over the last few years.
In India, the car industry is booming. In 2011, Maruti Suzuki made over $65,000 profit per employee. Despite unprecedented profits, workers in the industry have seen their wages reduced by 25% over the last ten years, whilst directors have seen their pay skyrocket.

Posted By

working class s...
Jul 29 2012 17:08

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Silent_Wage_Slave
Jul 29 2012 21:52

Hello.

I am from India and I live not far away from the place where the incident happened.

Quote:
“They [the bouncers], joined by some of the managerial staff and police later, beat up a number of workers, who have had to be hospitalised with serious injuries. The bouncers … also destroyed company property and set fire to a portion of the factory. The gates were later opened to oust the workers and enforce a lockout by the company.”

If what the union report has issued as a statement, quoted above, is really what had happened, then it is demonstrative of the fact that the Indian media has distorted the nature of the "riots" considerably, as it has pinned the entire blame of the unrest on the workers alone. A major national journal reported that workers "took into their hands whatever they could find to wreak havoc on the managers". Subsequently, all chaos that ensued, like setting off the fire in the factory, is also faulted upon the workers. Further, it was also reported that the exit gates were closed by the workers so that none of the managers could escape from the factory. It also alleged that an extremist group from north-east India may have incited the riots (however, the area where the incident happened is over 200 miles away from the region where this extremist group is active).

In the ensuing riot a general manager was also killed, a deplorable act for which there possibly isn't any justification. But the media/social conditioning has manipulated the psyche of the common man to such a degree wherein they are just not interested in knowing more about class struggle.

working class s...
Jul 29 2012 22:06

Hi
the quote from the union rep was from an interview on NDVT.com. I didnt see the interview directly, just read a brief transcript that was reported elsewhere

Dunk
Aug 2 2012 07:12
Quote:
In the ensuing riot a general manager was also killed, a deplorable act for which there possibly isn't any justification.

Self defense?

working class s...
Aug 2 2012 11:30

I would not revel in the death of anyone. However, these are the same bosses that earlier in the day hired themselves a group of thugs, and joined with those thugs in attacking the workers (with weapons). What should the workers have done? filed a grievance?

"come the revolution" I am sure events like this will be commonplace, certainly in countries such as India, here is another example from earlier this year - (http://libcom.org/blog/indian-workers-kill-their-boss-following-murder-union-leader-29012012)

working class s...
Aug 2 2012 12:57

Suzuki are blaming 'extreme left wing' elements' for the trouble

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/auto/automobiles/extreme-left-wing-may-have-triggered-maruti-violence/articleshow/15322289.cms

They must have forgot about the hundreds of thugs they hired to attack the workers.

jef costello
Aug 7 2012 14:14

Those in power only worry about violence when they aren't dishing it out.

babyface
Aug 15 2012 10:20

Portuguese translation
http://passapalavra.info/?p=62915

Spikymike
Aug 5 2013 15:36

The recently added library text 'Worker's Violence doesn't always mean worker's autonomy' by MC&KpK, which includes reference to this and other international examples of violence expressed in the course of industrial workplace class struggle is worth a read in the context of this discussion.