Workers Gear up for CPI(ML) Assembly Gherao in TN

Tamilnadu CM Karunanidhi recently went to Sriperumbudur to inaugurate the second plant of Hyundai Motors India Ltd, a South Korean international. Around 800 Hyundai workers were arrested when they sought to submit a petition to him regarding the vindictive attitude of the Hyundai management, and were released only after the CM’s departure. This management backed by the state government, thrice broke the flag masts of the union. This union’s CITU State leader was arrested when he went to hoist the flag of the union. This factory is manufacturing ten lakhs cars every year and the average price is Rs. 8 lakhs per car.

Ironically, even as a CPI(M) leader was arrested for trying to hoist the union’s flag at Hyundai, another CPI(M) leader (the State Secretary) presided over a function where the Hyundai Chairman handed over the keys of a Hyundai car to two youths from the CPI going on a world tour on the issue of global warming!

At the Hyundai function Karunanidhi declared that Hyundai cars and Korean multinationals like LG, Samsung and Hyundai have a place in the hearts of Indian people. But for the rural and urban proletariat of Tamil Nadu, it is land, homestead pattas, dignity and democracy that have a place in their hearts, not any exploitative MNCs. Karunanidhi came to power promising 65 lakh acres of land for 27.5 lakh agrarian labourers and rural poor at the rate of 2 acres each. Now he says there is no land to distribute, and he has also backtracked from the promise to distribute homestead plots to the poor. Yet he has created a land bank of thousands of acres of land for the specific purpose of handing it over to big corporate houses! Millions of acres of government land are under illegal occupation of dominant sections, temples and mutts. Ceiling surplus land and panjami land vested to dalits (during British regime) is alienated and is in the hands of vested interests.

At the same time workers in TN are also on the warpath. More than 1200 workers of Pricol affiliated to the AICCTU including 400 women stormed Coimbatore on 24 February 2008 and collected nearly 65,000 signatures for Amendment of the Trade Union Recognition Act on the lines of West Bengal. CPI(M) is holding its all-India Congress in Coimbatore by the end of March 2008, and CITU and CPI(M), following our efforts, have said they too will demand for amendments in the Trade Union Recognition Act inside and outside the Tamil Nadu Assembly. CPI(ML) is planning an Assembly gherao on March 27 on these basic issues of land and livelihood.

The Solidarity Forum of Tiruvottiyur along with AICCTU held a convention on March 20 on the amendments to the Trade Union Recognition Act Leaders of the WPC and United Labour Front attended the convention and extended their support for the signature campaign being taken up by AICCTU and for the CPI(ML)’s forthcoming Assembly Gherao. Workers and leaders of unions of Ashok Leyland, MRF, Carborundum, Eveready, TI Diamond Chains, Hyundai, and Balmer Lawrie attended and addressed the convention. 

Liberation Archive