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Mainstream, VOL LI, No 38, September 7, 2013

Justice for Maruti Workers

Sunday 8 September 2013, by Bharat Dogra

COMMUNICATION

There has been a growing feeling among citizens dedicated to justice and workers’ rights that the Maruti workers have been the victims of several injustices in recent years. Some reports on the working conditions which prevailed here and gave rise to unrest among workers have indicated that the working conditions were so tight and rigid as to create health hazards for the workers. The injustices faced by the non-regular, contract workers were the most acute. They received much less wages and suffered more problems. There were delibrate efforts to put more workers in this category, even if their work was of a regular and permanent nature. It has also been pointed out that whenever workers made efforts to form a genuine union committed to their welfare, repression against them was stepped up.

A true democracy based on justice and equality can flourish only if all sections of the people have access to justice. Sometimes when the poor living in very remote villages suffer shocking injustice, it is said that their remoteness led to denial of justice to them from our democratic system. But in the case of the Maruti workers the injustice suffered very close to the capital city has gone largely unreported and unquestioned.

Once industrial unrest grew, violent incidents were reported. Any violence and loss of life is very unfortunate. Anyone responsible for this should be condemned and get deserving punishment. But what cannot be denied is that the versions of violent events given by the management and the workers are very different. In the interest of democracy and in the interest of truth, it is important that the workers’ version should be properly heard and carefully considered.

It is important that truth should prevail and any move to implicate the workers in false cases should be checked before it is too late. The available evidence indicates that several innocent workers and their family members have already suffered a lot.

If the government and the labour department do not come forward to protect truth and justice in such an important case so close to the capital of India, then how can we maintain the trust of workers in the ability of our democracy to provide justice to them?

August 25, 2013

Bharat Dogra
C-27 Raksha Kunj,
Paschim Vihar,
New Delhi-110063 Tel: 25255303

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