Appeal for solidarity from ASTI workers

We are reproducing the appeal for solidarity by contract workers at ASTI who have been on a hunger strike opposing the conditions of work at the factory of ASTI at Gurgaon. We request all our readers and followers to help –

An appeal by ASTI Theka Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti, Manesar, Gurgaon
3rd December 2014
We the contract workers of ASTI Electronics factory at IMT Manesar, Gurgaon are on Dharna from 3rd November and 7 of us continue fast-unto-death from 25th November with our just demands against contractualisation, illegal lay off, and exploitation.

We had a tripartite meeting with the management and labour department day before and yesterday 2nd December. The management of ASTI continued with their adamant anti-worker attitude, and spoke through the contractors in the meeting. The DLC (Deputy Labour Commissioner) of Gurgaon, J.C. Mann also spoke in the management’s language, and told us off that there is no work so we have been laid off. We did not buy their false arguments and said that most of us have been working in the factory for the last 4-5 years in perennial nature of work in the assembly line. We should rather be made permanent by law and the contract itself is a sham contract. There was no resolution in the tripartite meetings, and the DLC rather than giving us any concrete promise has now passed on the case to the ALC (Asst. Labour Commissioner) Gurgaon.

Anti-social elements instigated by the management have been continuing to harass us, to inform which, a team of workers also met the Police Commissioner Gurgaon yesterday, but no concrete steps have been taken by the police other than forming barricades from the management’s side in front of the factory.

The health of 5 women and 2 male workers on fast-unto-death from 25th November is deteriorating, and ketone body has been found in the blood samples. But the Gurgaon administration has not even sent a single doctor or any medical assistance to the dharna site till date. A team of workers from ASTI Theka Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti also met the DC (Deputy Commissioner) Gurgaon to tell the administration to remind them of their responsibility but to no heed. We shall go to meet the DC Gurgaon again tomorrow 4th December at 11am and we appeal to pro-worker individuals and forces to come in solidarity in the meeting with the DC Gurgaon.

We are enthused to have received solidarity from workers in industrial belt. But at present, we are continuing with our struggle in the face of severe odds of anti-worker management-administration-police nexus. We are faced with a severe financial crisis which is becoming a hurdle in sustaining our struggle. We appeal to all pro-worker forces and individuals to come to our dharna site and also to contribute financially to our struggle.

Please send in your contributions to:
Raghuvendra Pratap
State Bank of India,
Sector 10A, Gurgaon Branch,
Account No. 34189662682
CIF No. 87673860011
Contact for further details: Shivani and Raghuvendra
(ASTI Theka Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti):
09555671885; 9654553194, 9971735073

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Appeal for solidarity for the garment workers of bangladesh !

The workers of Bangladesh need our solidarity !

On the 26th of April Bangladesh was shaken by the worst industrial disaster in the history of the country. The collapse of the Rana plaza structures have left up to 350 dead and nearly a thousand injured many of whom are still trapped in debris ! This disaster and the one at Tazreen garments preceding it have exposed the exploitative nature of the garments industry as well as the vested political interests behind this exploitation.

But the workers are not silent ! They refuse to be victims of this exploitation any longer and have gone on the warpath with a general strike action demanding better working conditions and decent wages. The present strike is of historic importance in the history of the worker’s struggle in Bangladesh and has succeeded in mobilizing most of the 3 million workers employed in the 5000 sweatshops which dominate this industry.

At this critical juncture it is indispensable that we throw our fullest support to the workers in their time of struggle. The workers of India, the US, the UK and France especially must extend their solidarity to the exploited workers of Bangladesh.

Capitalists anywhere are the enemies of workers everywhere !

The big capitalist MNCs who lord over major economies of the world are the protectors and beneficiaries of the sweatshop industry which is so prevalent in Bangladesh. India’s capitalists have played a leading role in the upkeep of the political interests which protect the garment bosses, while the capitalists of the USA and Europe, in particular big retail chains like Wal mart who source their material from these ‘third world’ sweatshops, are a vital economic linkage contributing to the exploitation of the workers there.

All of these big moneyed interests are looking out for each other to ensure the sustenance of this system. To this alliance, the working class must counter pose it’s own ! One which is forged on solidarity in class struggle against the capitalist looters ! For this we must work towards constructing a joint action in coordination with the garment workers in Bangladesh.

Tactics of support :

As our first tactics we should address the immediate relief for the workers and their families who are victims of this building collapse. We may start with a petition against the bangladeshi government demanding action be taken against those responsible for this building collapse and give compensation to the families who have been aggrieved.

In terms of international solidarity workers in the US and UK who stand at the consumption end of the chain, can begin enquiries commission in their own companies to ensure that there is no profit from sweatshop labor and a call by trade unions condemning cheap labor exploitation in Bangladesh.

The workers in India hold a key strategic position in this respect, where their own capitalist rulers are actively engaged in harboring the political regime *( through huge loans regular political and military protection) and which encourages this vicious exploitation through sweatshop labor. An example for us to follow has been set by the protests around Marikana massacre in Africa where a committee for solidarity was set up by labor activists and other democratic activists.

United we fight ! Divided we fail !