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Belsonica workers protest retrenchment, cancellation of Union membership

By Harsh Thakor 

Belsonica Mazdoor Union of Maruti's component manufacturing company Belsonica Plant at IMT Manesar, Haryana undertook a boycott of lunch for 6 days. The management had suspended a permanent worker for 6 days, against which union members protested.
Belsonica Management had suspended a labourer named Sudhir Tripathi for 6 days. The management had asked Sudhir to leave his place of work and work at some other station. This was tooth and nail opposed by both the union and Sudhir. But the management remained adamant and suspended Sudhir, ignoring the demands of the workers and the union.
The Belsonica union says that the management was employing a temporary labourer in place of Sudhir and Sudhir was being pressurized to work in place of a temporary labourer. When the union and Sudhir himself protested against this unjust practice, the management suspended him for 6 days.
Ajit, general secretary of Belsonica Union, stated that for the last 6-7 months, Belsonica management was only assigning wok to temporary workers instead of permanent workers. This was being continuously opposed by the union of the workers.
He says that the union has also handed over a letter of its demands to the management in this regard. In which it has been demanded that work should not be given to contract/temporary workers in place of permanent workers. But the management is not deterring from its antics.
The union alleges that the management is harassing the workers with these antics.
Belsonica Union in its live video has also appealed to other workers of the factory to maintain harmony.
According to the information received, on January 14, the Belsonica management has handed over chargesheets to about 30 permanent workers. The union says that all these workers had also opposed giving work to contract/temporary workers at their place of work.
The union says such a step of the management clearly indicates the long term strategy of the management to lay off permanent workers.

Protest against cancelling Membership of Union

On January 13th women and children of the Progressive Women's Centre and Belsonica workers' families took out a procession to the Gurgaon Mini Secretariat handed over a demand letter to the Deputy Commissioner to protest against the action of eradicating the membership of the Belsonica union, against the overt retrenchments and to resolve the pending issues of the Belsonica union.
The procession was addressed by the representatives of the Progressive Mahila Ekta Kendra and the Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra. Along with this, women from the families of Belsonica labourers also addressed the meeting.
Reena, a leading leader of the Pragatisheel Mahila Ekta Kendra in Gurgaon, said that the Belsonica management is causing untold harm to the lives of workers by adopting retrenchment policy.
She said that this unruly behaviour of the management has largely affected families of the workers. This was the very reason the Progressive Mahila Ekta Kendra had taken out a procession in support of the workers and against the despotic attitude of the management.
It may be noted that the labour union (Belsonica Auto Component Employees Union) of Manesar, Haryana-based auto parts manufacturing company Belsonica had received a notice to cancel the membership of the union on January 3 last for sanctioning union membership to a contract worker.
Actually, Belsonica Union had given membership of the union on 14 August 2021 to Keshav Rajput, a temporary / contract labourer working in the company.
Due to this the Labour Commissioner issued this notice. The matter came to the fore when the Union filed his name in the income tax return filed in the year 2022.
Apart from this, the retrenchment of permanent and temporary workers is a routine occurrence in the company, due to which the workers have also demonstrated many times.
Progressive Mahila Ekta Kendra has supported this fight of Belsonica Union.
Earlier the labour union of Belsonica, the component maker of Maruti, had provided financial assistance to persist the struggle for the reinstatement of a sacked worker from the factory. Belsonica management had fired an employee named Ashish Pal in October last month. It caused him grave problems. In solidarity the union persuaded every worker of the factory to give financial assistance of Rs.15 per month. The union has given Ashish the stipend for the month of November. Along with this, the union has vowed to prolong the battle for the reinstatement of the dismissed worker Ashish Pal.
Belsonica Union has appealed to the labour department and the administration to immediately stop the provocative actions of the management and the policies of harassing the workers.
Positive to witness the persistent efforts to confront injustice to labour by Inquilabi Mazdor Kendra, Pragathi Mahila Ekta Kendra and Belsonica Workers Union.
Today all over the country retrenchment has turned into a routine affair and practice of cancelling membership of a Union. Solidarity meeting s and protests are the very need of the hour, to crystallise mass democratic resistance against barbarity of contract system. Workers rights have been strangulated as never before. The behaviour of the Beslonika factory management is an illustration or part and parcel of how labour in India is brutally treated as a whole. A broad front of trade Unions have to be united to challenge such oppression.
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Harsh Thakor is freelance journalist who has covered mass movements around India

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