GurgaonWorkersNews – Newsletter 45 (December 2011)
Gurgaon in the industrial belt of Delhi is presented as the shining India, a symbol of capitalist success promising a better life for everyone behind the gateway of development. At a first glance the office towers and shopping malls reflect this chimera and even the facades of the garment factories look like three star hotels. Behind the facade, behind the factory walls and in the side streets of the industrial areas thousands of workers keep the rat-race going, producing cars and scooters for the middle-classes which end up in the traffic jam on the new highway between Delhi and Gurgaon. Thousands of young proletarianised middle class people lose time, energy and academic aspirations on night-shifts in call centres, selling loan schemes to working-class people in the US or pre-paid electricity schemes to the poor in the UK. Next door, thousands of rural-migrant workers up-rooted by the rural crisis stitch and sew for export, competing with their angry brothers and sisters in Bangladesh, China or Vietnam. And the rat-race will not stop; on the outskirts of Gurgaon, new industrial zones turn soil into over-capacities. The following newsletter documents some of the developments in and around this miserable boom region. If you want to know more about working and struggling in Gurgaon, if you want more info about or even contribute to this project, please do so via:
In the December 2011 issue you can find:
1) Proletarian Experiences –
Daily life stories and reports from a workers’ perspective
*** Story by Proletarian Tenant on Landlordism in Tekhand, Okhla Industrial Area –
A working class tenant describes how landlords in Tekhand try to squeeze extra money by using the tenants’ dependency on water and electricity – and how collective steps of tenants can undermine this.
*** Workers’ Reports from (Garment) Factories in Gurgaon and Manesar –
Eleven short workers’ reports on conditions in Gurgaon’s factories, amongst others at Adigear (Puma, Adidas), House of Pearl (JC Penny), Modelama (GAP, Old Navy).
2) Collective Action –
Reports on proletarian struggles in the area
*** IMPORTANT Unfinished Business: Further Material for Debate on Maruti Suzuki Workers’ Struggle –
Between June and October 2011 thousands of workers took part in factory occupations, wildcat strikes and protest camps at Maruti Suzuki and other automobile factories in Manesar, near Gurgaon. We document further material on this important strike and call for an open debate about the lessons of this dispute. We translated two long articles published in Faridabad Majdoor Samachar providing important new details and summarised some material about the general context of the struggle.
*** Delayed Notes on Harsoria Healthcare Workers’ Strike in Gurgaon –
In April 2011 a dispute erupted at the factory of the health equipment manufacturer Harsoria. After initial collective steps on the shop-floor and a 72 hours factory occupation, workers followed the legal order and union advice to leave the factory. They were attacked by the police and had difficulties not to get entangled in conflicts of factory union representatives, regional union leaders and company management.
3) According to Plan –
General information on the development of the region or on certain company policies
*** The “Spiritual”-Industrial Complex: Involvement of Brahmakumaris and Radha Soami Panth in Industrial Management in Gurgaon –
Religious sects like Brahmakumaris and Radha Soami Panth not only engage in commodity production by selling products for ‘spiritual tourism’, they get directly involved in management of industrial relations and education of manual workforce. After lockouts at Denso in 2010 and Maruti Suzuki in 2011, the multi-national management engaged Brahmakumaris to deal with the agitated ‘human capital’, while the Radha Soami Panth supplies semi-skilled young workers to companies like Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) in Manesar. A workers’ report describes the ‘spiritual-industrial’ connection.
4) About the Project –
Updates on Gurgaon Workers News
*** Suggested Reading: Contributions to the Global Overthrow –
The global and historical character of the current crisis forces us to coordinate both debate and practice ‘for workers self-emancipation’ on an international scale. Following texts are selective, but we think that they can stand as examples for ‘general theses’, ‘concrete analysis’ and ‘historical debate’ of class struggle and revolutionary movement.
Leaflet by InsurgentNotes on the Occupy Movement in the USA
New Magazine from the US focusing on the Proletarian Tendencies within the Occupy Movement
Article from Wildcat on Rural Class Relations in Indonesia
Article from Wildcat on Migrant Agricultural Workers Strike in Southern Italy
*** GurgaonWorkersHistory: Voices from the Local Working Class History –
We translated an article published in the Hindi magazine ‘Militant Worker’, Sangharshrat Mehantkash no.3, dealing with the history of working class struggle in Dharuhera, near Gurgaon. The first industrial area was set up in 1977, the first official movement kicked off at East India textile company in 1984. The article describes the Radhu Yadav’s Unemployed Army in 1985 and the first strikes at Omax Auto in 1986. Both in regards to the debate on the struggle at Maruti Suzuki and the importance of a workers’ historiography, we suggest reading Sergio Bologna’s article on the emergence of industrial history and workers’ research around the automobile industry in Italy. We converted the article into a text-file and published it here:
*** Delhi Calling: Get Involved in Faridabad Majdoor Talmel –
To abolish the global work/war house will take more than informative exercise! If you live in Delhi area, please be welcomed to take part in Faridabad Majdoor Talmel – a workers’ coordination. We distribute around 9,000 copies of Faridabad Majdoor Samachar on ten days each month in various industrial areas around Delhi. You can also participate in the workers’ meeting places which have been opened in various workers’ areas. If you are interested, please get in touch. For more background on Faridabad Majdoor Talmel: