INDIA:Jailed Maruti workers’ kin launch 17-day foot march

Monday 27 January 2014

Date: 16 January 2014

Type: News

Source: The Hindu

Keywords: Labor, protests, unions

Release workers, families ask Haryana Govt.

The families of workers jailed for violence at Maruti Suzuki’s plant in Manesar on July 18, 2012, set out on a 17-day-long Jan Jagran Yatra from Kaithal in Haryana on Wednesday.

The workers have so far failed to get any respite from the courts.

The families’ march will pass through Jind, Rohtak, Jhajjar and Gurgaon before culminating in a demonstration at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on January 31.

Meetings planned

The protesters will hold meetings and press conferences in villages to garner mass support for their cause and to put pressure on the Bhupinder Singh Hooda Government to release the 148 Maruti workers.

Passing through Chief Minister Hooda’s hometown Rohtak and the Lok Sabha constituency of his son, MP Deepender Hooda, the march also holds political significance with both Parliamentary and Haryana Assembly elections due this year.

“With the Congress having lost elections in four States recently, the aim behind the yatra is to seek public support and mount pressure on the Congress Government in Haryana to agree to our demands. Several trade unions, employees’ unions, social organisations and the Aam Aadmi Party have extended their support to the yatra ,” said Rajpal, provisional working committee member of the Maruti Suzuki Workers’ Union.

Continuing struggle

The union said in a statement that it would continue the struggle against injustice despite attempts by the government to create hurdles.

After the July 18 violence at the Manesar plant, in which one senior executive was killed, the company had fired 546 regular workers and 1,800 contract workers.

More than a year after the incident, 148 workers are still in jail and non-bailable warrants have been issued against 65 others.###

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