Workers are under attack in the entire Delhi-NCR region

In the Delhi-NCR region, there are multiple instances of workers’ struggles for basic rights, facing victimisation and repression.

The Maruti workers’ struggle continues: as in NOIDA, not oly the Maruti workers, but workers in the entire Gurgaon Manesar region are having their voices muzzled. The Maruti workers continue to be in jail on charges of arson and murder.

In the Lala Ram Swarup TB Hospital (a public hospital in Delhi), most of the workers are employed on contract, and paid far below the designated wage – in violation of the law restricting contractualisation. Workers here have organised in a union affiliated to the AICCTU. Workers had a considerable backlog of unpaid wages to boot. When the contractor defaulted on wage payment, they demanded that the Director of the hospital, as the principal employer, ensure payment of wages. The hospital took the plea that the employer was not defined, and, in violation of the contract labour law, held that the hospital could not be responsible for the contractor’s terms. They went on strike, and gheraoed the Director. Some workers then got their pending wages, but 8 of the leading workers were victimised and lost their jobs. Their struggle continues.

In the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, also a Government hospital in Delhi, more than 100 data entry operators, organised in a Union affiliated to AICCTU, have been victimised and thrown out of their jobs. All employed on contract, they had demanded their rights and the hospital had, as in LRS Hospital, disclaimed responsibility as principal employer.

In Wazirpur, workers employed in the same trade in different factories, united under a single trade-based Union to raise the demand for minimum wages, ESI and PF. They protested at the Labour Office and went on strike from 11-16 April. The workers later said that the Union leadership sold out; they chased away the leader who had sold out and sat independently on a dharna to continue the strike. Police cracked down on the dharna. A local BJP corporator as well as an NGO activist offered to mediate. But both the BJP corporator and the NGO cheated the workers by unilaterally announcing a ‘settlement’ based on an increase ion wages of Rs.1500 – which the employers had already conceded before the Strike, an which was still far below the minimum wage. The BJP leader insisted on a compromise which the workers refused. The police then arrested the workers’ leaders and beat them up in custody; when they were released after several hours, the strike had been broken. AICCTU held a demonstration in Wazirpur against the various agents who forced a compromise on the workers, and against the police terror.

Liberation Archive