Gurgaon Workers News #44

Submitted by vicent on February 21, 2016

Wildcat strikes, factory occupations and protest camps

Since June 2011 around 3,500 workers at Maruti Suzuki car plant openly confront the factory regime and its institutional allies in Manesar, in the south of Delhi. [1] Their struggle leaped over to other automobile factories in the industrial corridor, which brought the world’s third largest automobile assembly plant in nearby Gurgaon to a halt. While in the US automobile workers have to confront the introduction of a union sanctioned “Two Tier”-wage system, which enforces a dramatic (global) wage drop and generational division, the Maruti Suzuki workers refuse the status as cheap labour.

In the most significant workers’ struggle in India in the last two decades the young workers managed to undermine the companies’ attempts to divide them along the lines of temporary and permanent contracts. The struggle attacked the core of the Indian development model and puts it into question: integration into global markets and production structures on the highest technological level combined with harshest casualisation of the workforce. While waves of protest against the impacts of the crisis rock the globe, their occupations and protest camps are an angry exclamation that this system is in crisis even when it is ‘booming’. In its potential their struggle is a chain in the missing link between the strike waves at Honda in China in 2010 and the mass mobilisations against corrupt austerity regimes during the ‘Spring Uprisings’ and in the global North in 2011.

We hope to be able to provide some material and thoughts for the necessary debate about this dispute and the general question of ‘how to organise for the self-emancipation of the working class’.

*** Collection of Quotes from the Front-Line –
*** Summary of the Struggle from June to October 2011 –
*** Chronology –
*** General Political Thesis for the Debate –
*** Further Material –
* Links, Videos and Documents (Written Agreements) –
* Contribution for the Debate: A Critique of the ‘Balance-Sheet of the Maruti Suzuki Struggle’ in GurgaonWorkersNews no.41 –
* Article in Faridabad Majdoor Samachar with Workers’ Reports after the first Factory Occupation in June –
* Short Reports by Workers in Automobile Factories in Manesar/Faridabad, Distributed by FMS Shortly before Dispute at Maruti Suzuki Broke Out –