Sunday, 19 March 2017

Death or life sentences for Indian trade unionists



Letter to his Excellency Y.K. Sinha
High Commissioner of India in London:

We the undersigned are writing to you regarding the Indian trade unionists at the Maruti Suzuki car factory in Haryana State, an Indian plant of the Japanese Suzuki multinational corporation, who were arrested and charged in connection with incidents that took place at this factory in 2012, in which a factory manager died, have just been tried in court. (1)

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 the 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.


Excellency, we ask you to communicate the following demands to the Indian authorities:

(1)  This car factory was first privatised in 2002, and the consequences that flowed from this notably included making 50% of the monthly salary variable, depending on the level of production, and having the workers lose around 25% of this part of their wages if they were absent for a day due to sick leave! In order to defend the employees’ rights, an independent trade union, the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU), was set up in 2011. This was nothing more than the application of recognised provisions under the international Conventions 87 and 98 of the ILO. However, the company’s management stated attitude was that it was not even worth trying to set up a trade union, and it then resorted to deploying armed thugs around the factory.

Endorsers - pers cap

John Sweeney trade unionist, Member of the Mumbai Conference Continuations Committee; Mike Calvert, Deputy Secretary Islington Unison ; Ian Hodson, National President Bakers and Food Workers Union (BFAWU) ; Steve Hedley, RMT Senior Assistant General Secretary ; Jane Doolan, Secretary Islington Unison ; Nick Phillips Secretary Southwark Trades Council pers  ; Ronnie Draper General Secretary BFAWU ; John McNally National Vice – President Public & Commercial Services Union  ; Dave Auger Unison NEC; Adrian Kennett Unison NEC; Dean Ryan Islinton Unison  ; Dean Kirk Hull Unison  ; Keith Dunn Tottenham CLP ; Rachel Harris Halesowen and Rowley Regis CLP- USDAW ; Tam Dewar CWU- Labour party; Alison Birmingham Norfolk County Unison; Mina Rodgers Unison Retired members Secretary Leics Health Branch NPC National Committere; Tony Goss Trade Union Managers in Partnership Organiser , Torbay CLP; Rachael Harris, Halesowen and Rowley Regis CLP and USDAW; Michael Calderbank, Brent Central CLP; Cllr Mouna Hamitouche, Islington Labour Councillor; Jo Cardwell, Islington Unison; Mark Still, RMT; Jane Gebbie Bridend CLP Unison NPT; Geoff Jelly. Unison; George Binette Camden UNISON Branch Secretary & Camden Trades Council Chair; Steve Campbell Unite Community & Unison Retired; Liz Davies, UK barrister, Honorary Vice-President Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers; John Dennis Secretary Dumfries Trade Union Council & Secretary; Terry Luke, Islington Unison; Alex Wood, Unison; Richard Gill (Islington Unison); Claudia Calvino. Labour member Heeley CLP. Unite; Fiona Monkman  Islington Unison, Mike Arnott Dundee Trades Council; Stefan Cholewka Greater Manchester Association of Trades Councils ( GMATUCs) ; Doreen McNally Unite Liverpool Community Branch; Raymond Mennie Unite Dundee; Dave Green National Officer Fire Brigares Union FBU ; Islington Unison BC; Roger Silverman Newham NUTNewham Momentum; Brian Lawton,  Unite , London IT branch; Harry Smith UNITE;  Vinothan Sangarapillai, Camden Unison; Ayten Selcuk RMT; Kath O'Connor unison; Neil Parry  Unison Welsh Government Branch Secretary Cynon Valley CLP; Roger Lewis Lambeth Unison assistant branch secretary; Victoria Cuckson PCS; Michele Marshall UNIT; Richard Knights NUT; Peter Durrant, Unite. All members of Islington Unison Branch Committee: Isabel Handovsky. ; Andrew Berry; Denise Facey; Ghile Ghebrenegus ; Kevin Perkins; Angela Faventi; Tina Clayton Unison; Alison wood West Yorkshire; Adrian Kennett Unison NEC; Sue Dockett president Wisbech/March TUC; Lucia Collins, Nipsa General Council Member, (pers cap); JON ROGERS unison nec; Eddie Dempsey RMT NEC; Sean Fox Haringey UNISON Joint Branch Secretary; Richard Gerrard, Camberwell + Peckham CLP (pers cap); Oliver New, president Ealing TUC; Seema Chandwani Tottenham CLP; Tony Church PCS DWP Leicestershire/ Secretary Leicester and District Trades Union Council; Lee Cooper, Socialist Party; Katrina Coomber UNISON Health Branch; Jane Gebbie and Kerry Jones Unison Ymlaen Branch; Katie Hall. Unison. Cardiff University Branch; Danuta Kulisa; Jonathan Dunning UNISON NEC; Tara Styles-Lightowlers UCU;Findlay, Mark, Unite, Brighton Pavilion CLP; Ann Whitton CWU; Maggie Simpson, unison Cardiff County Branch; Pam Woods, Islington South and Finsbury Labour Party; Alison Bushell, Member Felixstowe CLP and Momentum; Gerry Downing;
Mike Hogan; Jim McFarlane; Bobby Clelland; Phil Buyum Jackson Tottenham CLP; Naomi Fearon Wythenshawe and Sale East CLP Socialist Educational Association Equalities Officer , NUT rep; Councillor Peter Rees, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Chair of joint Council for Wales,
Arlene  Chaves,   GMB,  neath Port Talbot County Borough Council,
LYNNE Doyle, unison Neath Port Talbot Council Borough Council,
David Smith,  unison cwm taff  local government branch; Jan Davies, UNISON, Monmouthshire Local Government Branch; Cheryl Morgan, UNISON Torfaen Local Government Branch; Peter Garland UNISON Newport Local Government Branch; Jackie Griffiths GMB Swansea County Council;?Dorothy Gordon GMB Swansea County Council; Mick Hutchinson GMB Powys County Council; Alwyn Rowles Unite North Wales Wales Branch; C Rogers Unite North West Wales Wrexham CLP;James David Unite Wrexham County Borough Council; Gary Simpson Unite Wrexham County Borough Council; Jane Isles UNISON Bridgend County Borough Council; Alyn Thomas GMB Wales and South West Region;Karen Evans GMB Denbighshire Composite Branch; Glenn Pappa UNISON Vale of Glamorgan;Tina Greaves GMB Vale of Glamorgan; Tommy Bower Unite Pembrokeshire County Council; Jo Rao UNISON Cardiff County Council Branch; Gwyn Roberts GMB Vale of Glamorgan Council; Owain Davies UNISON Ceredigion County Council; Lesley Davies Unite Rhondda Cynon Taff; David Andrew Williams Unite Caerphilly Council; Mark Preece Unite Carmarthenshire County Council;

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