Skip to main content

'Reinstate 13 suspended, 17 expelled workers': Belsonica union leaders begin protest fast

By Harsh Thakor* 

Even as its trade union leaders embarked on hunger strike from 4th May, Maruti Suzuki’s components manufacturing unit Belsonica’s management is being accused of violating the orders/ instructions of the Labour Department and the Administrative Officer by suspending 13 labourers and terminating 17 labourers from their jobs.
Speaking on behalf of Belsonica workers' relatives, the wife of union president Mohinder Kapoor said that the management is permeating a scenario of tension and fear in the families by sacking workers. “It is extracting the main production by employing contract workers on machines. This action represents unfair labour practice and violation of labour laws”.
“Cases of 546 dismissed workers of Maruti is pending in the court even after 11 years. Even till date these workers have not got justice”, she said at the protest meeting at the fasting site. “The officers are paying a deaf ear to the requests made through the complaints, demand letters and memorandums of the union.”
On March 3, during the negotiations held in the mediation of Assistant Labour Commissioner, Gurugram, and on March 21, orders/ instructions were given to the union and the management to maintain status quo and peace.
The union said, the management paid no heed to the orders /instructions of the Labour Department and the Administrative Officer. It appealed to settle the dispute through complaints, collective demand letters and memorandum. But all the officers “ignored” the plea of ​​the union.
The union decided to undertake hunger strike from May 4 to solve the disputes. Two office bearers of the union, Ajit Singh, general secretary, and Rajpal, deputy head of the union, embarked on hunger strike.
The union alleged that in the last three decades the permanent workforce in the factories has been considerably reduced. The number of contract labourers is intensifying. The management wishes to retrench permanent workers on a large scale. and cripple the labour union.
It is difficult to take to legal recourse in the present scenario, with the legal system at the complete mercy of management.
The Belsonica union has been launching battle for the past two years against indiscriminate retrenchments. In 2021, the union had given membership to a contract worker. After this, on the complaint of the company management, the Labour Department issued a 'show cause notice' to the union on December 26, 2022, warning it to cancel the recognition.
The union alleged that in the last three decades the permanent workforce in the factories has been considerably reduced
Last year, the management terminated 3 permanent workers. After that the management suspended 3 union office bearers on 17 March 2023. Then the management suspended 10 workers on March 30 due to union activities.
On 7th April, 3 old contract workers were given union membership. They too were terminated. On April 21, the management terminated 11 workers from their jobs. The management has so far suspended about 13 workers and terminated 17 workers from their jobs.
On 28 April 2023, the Belsonica Union took out a procession along with Maruti Suzuki Labor Union and handed over the memorandum of its demands to the Deputy Commissioner, Gurugram. The relatives of Belsonica also took part in this procession.
The Belsonica management is firing workers who have been working for 10-15 years citing fake documents.
During the ongoing settlement/solution talks mediated by the Additional Deputy Commissioner and the Labour Officer, the management is sacking the workers by adopting unscrupulous actions by violating the orders/instructions of the written peace and status quo of the settlement officers.
The union demands implementation of the legal provision of permanent employment on permanent work. It is seeking to take back 17 terminated and 13 suspended workers to work immediately, cancel the charge sheets and show cause letters given to labourers in the name of fake documents and indiscipline, dispose of collective demand letters of the union with respect, and take action against the Belsonica management for unfair labour practice regarding work being done by contract/ temporary labourersq.
*Freelance journalist who has covered mass movements. Inputs: Workers Unity and Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra leader Shyambir



'Enough evidence' in Indian tradition to support legal basis for same-sex marriage

By Iyce Malhotra, Joseph Mathai, Sandeep Chachra*  The ongoing hearing in the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage provides space for much-needed conversations on issues that have hitherto remained “invisible” or engaged with patriarchal locker room humour. We must recognize that people with diverse sexualities and complex gender identities have faced discrimination, stigma and decades of oppression. Their issues have mainly remained buried in dominant social discourse, and many view them with deep insecurities.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Victim of communal violence, Christians in Manipur want Church leadership to speak up

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  The first eleven days of May 2023 have, in many ways, been a defining period of Indian history! Plenty has happened in a rapid-fire stream of events. Ironically, each one of them are indicators of how crimes and the criminalisation of society has become the ‘new norm’; these include, the May Day rallies with a focus on the four labour codes which are patently against the rights of workers; the U S Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its Annual Report on 1 May stating that conditions for religious freedom in India “continued to worsen in 2022”; the continued protest by the Indian women wrestlers at Jantar Mantar for the expulsion of the chief of the Indian Wrestlers Federation on very serious allegations; the Elections in Karnataka on 10 May (with communalism and corruption as the mainstay); the release of the fake, derogative and insensitive film ‘The Kerala Story’; the release of World Free Press Index on 3 May which places India

Delhi HC rules in favour of retired Air Force officer 'overcharged' for Covid treatment

By Rosamma Thomas*  In a decision of May 22, 2023, the Delhi High Court ruled in favour of petitioner Group Captain Suresh Khanna who was under treatment at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, between April 28 and May 5, 2021, for a period of eight days, for Covid-19 pneumonia. The petitioner had to pay Rs 3,55,286 as treatment costs, but the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) only reimbursed him for Rs 1,83,748, on the basis of government-approved rates. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

India joining US sponsored trade pillar to hurt Indian farmers, 'promote' GM seeds, food

Counterview Desk  As many as 32 civil society organisations (CSOs), in a letter to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and India joining the trade pillar, have said that its provisions will allow the US to ensure a more favourable regulatory regime “for enhancing its exports of genetically modified (GM) seeds and GM food”, underlining, it will “significantly hurt the livelihoods of Indian farmers.”

Polygamy in India "down" in 45 yrs: Muslims' from 5.7 to 2.55%, Hindus' 5.8 to 1.77%, "common" in SCs, STs

By Rajiv Shah Amidst All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) justifying polygamy, saying it “meets social and moral needs and the provision for it stems from concern and sympathy for women”, facts suggest the the practice is down from 5.7 per cent of Muslim families in 1961 to 2.55 per cent in 2006.

Modi govt 'wholly untrustworthy' on Covid data, censored criticism on pandemic: Lancet

By Rajiv Shah   One of the world’s most prestigious health journals, brought out from England, has sharply criticised the Narendra Modi government for being “wholly untrustworthy on Covid-19 health data”, stating, the “official government figures place deaths at more than 530 000, while WHO excess death estimates for 2020 and 2021 are near 4·7 million.”