Victimized Maruti Suzuki workers support striking GM workers

By our reporters
26 September 2019

Below we post a statement of support for striking General Motors workers in the US that was sent by Jitender Dhankhar on behalf of the Provisional Committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) in northern India.

Jitender is one of the many workers victimized for leading the bitter years-long struggle of workers at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar car assembly plant. He is also a member of the Provisional Committee of the MSWU that workers formed after the July-August 2012 arrest and jailing of the MSWU leadership and the company’s firing, with government support, of all 2,400 workers at the Manesar plant, in the northern Indian state of Haryana.

June 2011 sit-down strike by Maruti Suzuki Manesar workers (Credit: GurgaonWorkersNews)

On July 18, the Provisional Committee of the MSWU marked the 7th anniversary of the management-instigated altercation at the Manesar plant that was used to frame-up the leadership of the newly-formed independent union and purge the workforce. During the melee and a fire that mysteriously erupted in its midst, the only management official at all sympathetic to the workers, Human Resources manager Awanish Dev, died of smoke inhalation.

The 2012 incident was seized upon by the company, police and state government to mount a ferocious attack on the Manesar Maruti Suzuki workers. They were determined to make an example of the workers because their struggle against poverty wages and brutal working conditions had become a rallying point for worker resistance across the giant Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt, which lies on the outskirts of India’s capital, Delhi.

In March 2017, 13 Maruti Suzuki workers, including all 12 members of the MSWU executive committee, were convicted on trumped-up murder charges and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The WSWS has mounted a vigorous worldwide campaign to free the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers.

The statement in support of the striking GM workers was issued as hundreds of thousands of Indian auto and auto parts workers, including at Maruti Suzuki, have lost their jobs during the worst economic downturn in years, and as the resistance of autoworkers grows. This includes the month-long strike by 500 Motherson Automotive Technologies and Engineering workers in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

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First of all, I would like to extend revolutionary greetings on behalf of the Maruti Suzuki workers Union (MSWU) to all the autoworkers at General Motors.

Brothers, the workers in India are with you in this struggle. They extend their support to your struggle against the capitalist system and your exploitation and we wish you victory. The capitalist ruling elites, which are deeply discredited and beset by their own financial crisis, are sacking workers to preserve their existing world order, which is based on the relentless pursuit of increased profits. For this reason, workers around the world are facing attacks on jobs.

The Maruti Suzuki 13

The struggle you are waging should be waged as a political struggle and this is only possible when we adopt the proper political perspective that will enlighten us. Presently, our fate is determined by the existing politics of the bourgeoisie in every nation. If we are to defeat capitalism, we have to turn this struggle into a political struggle, so that the workers across the world can unite with us and truly understand the real nature of the capitalist system. In doing this, they will be taking their first step towards socialism. In every country throughout the world, governments fiercely defend the interests of the capitalists and big business. Thus, we have to take political power in our own hands so we can put an end to capitalism once and for all.

This is only possible if we work towards uniting the working class and take this unified struggle against the ruling class globally, instead of containing ourselves within the boundaries of a specific nation. By doing this, we will lay siege to the capitalists from every direction and they will not be able to escape by running to a different country. Today, if workers in a single nation wage a struggle against the capitalist ruling class, the ruling classes of other nations can threaten to intervene and defeat the class struggle. If the workers of other nations refuse this and engage with the workers of other nations in a united struggle, this will put an end to capitalism.

I want to convey my red salute and raise the slogan, “Workers of the world, unite!”

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