India’s Auto Giant Seeks to Crush Independent Union [View all]
An Indian auto plant wracked by violence in July reopened last week, with almost all 2,500 full-time and casual workers at the plant barred from entering.
The union and its community allies responded Monday by picketing the chairman of Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corporation when he visited the plant.
Maruti Suzuki India, a subsidiary of the Japanese company, is the largest auto producer in the subcontinent. On July 18 an altercation between a supervisor and a worker at its Manesar plant, southwest of New Delhi, was allowed to escalate.
Union leaders say that a supervisor insulted a Dalit worker (formerly called “untouchables”). When the worker protested, he was suspended. When workers and union reps went to the HR office, managers refused to listen and brought in a firm that specializes in supplying thugs in labor disputes.