A Section of Workers of Yazaki Reinstated! The Struggle to Reinstate the remaining Is ON!
A Section of Workers of Yazaki Reinstated!
The Workers Struggle to Reinstate the remaining Is ON!
Workers Disguised as ‘Trainees’
Illegally terminated workers of Yazaki India Pvt Ltd plant of Lakkenahalli of Ramnagara district of Karnataka have been staging a protest under the banner of AICCTU, outside the factory gates, since 26th December 2022. Workers marched to the Ramnagara District Commissioner office demanding intervention, in addition to approaching labour authorities for conciliation. After 16 days of the movement, the Yazaki management assured in a tripartite conciliation meeting with Deputy Labour Commissioner that the workers will be taken back. They informed that re-joining letters to 45 workers has already been sent and the remaining will be subsequently reinstated. The movement is, however, continuing for the reinstatement of the remaining workers.
Yazaki is a Japan based company that manufactures automobile wiring equipment. It has a clientele of Maruti Suzuki, Toyota, Mahindra etc. This unit of the company earns super profits exploiting around 3000 workers employed currently. But, out of the total, only 130 workers are permanent while all the rest are either contractual workers or ‘trainees’. The Yazaki unit has a fraudulent policy of recruiting workers guised as ‘trainees’, whose job roles are same as that of the permanent employees but with lesser salary and without job security. ‘Training period’ of these workers is extended up to 4 years, then most of them are sacked and a new set of ‘trainees’ are recruited.
Currently, there are around 1500 such ‘trainees’ out of which 53 were abruptly terminated without even a notice on 13 December. Later, when 100 other workers came in solidarity and protested, they were also identified and terminated from services. These workers have all been working continuously for about four years. Realizing the need of a union, 107 out of these 153 terminated workers organized themselves under the banner of AICCTU and started their movement against this injustice.
The Management’s Deceit
The factory was initially in the outskirts of Bangalore district which was later shifted to Ramnagara district in January 2022, along with all workers. The workers were promised of continuation in and regularisation of services with increased wages and benefits. With a lot of hope and believing the lies of the management, poor workers shifted their residences from Bangalore to Ramnagara to serve the company but only to be sacked abruptly. These workers are mostly intra-state migrants hailing from Gulbarga, Belgaum, Chikkamagaluru, and other districts of Karnataka.
The contractual and ‘trainee’ workers in this factory, who constitute more than 95% of the workforce, are denied several benefits extended to the permanent workmen despite performing same work, including production incentive, leave facilities, bonus, shoes, uniforms etc. These workers work overtime without any mandatory double wages and are also forced to work double (16 hours) even triple (24 hours) shifts. Workers are not provided leave facilities as mandated under law. The number of washrooms are very less compared to the number of workers. Safety hazards are mostly overlooked by the management, many workers were found to have abrasions on their hands from continued use of tapes. More workload is enforced on them with passing time. The list continues. The workers, who are staging the protest, are distributing pamphlets raising the concerns of wages and working conditions amongst their colleagues.
Transnational Capital and Indian Labour
Yazaki being a transnational company based out of Japan, they have their tentacles spread all over the third-world nations with 90% of their workforce from outside Japan. In the national context, such huge foreign investment, on the one hand, pushes the domestic capital out of the market and on the other hand, carries out super-exploitation of the impoverished Indian cheap labour force. This ‘reserve army of labour’ from the third world are given wages lower than sustenance level and without any job or social security.
With the implementation of new labour codes, such abrupt terminations of workers would become a day-to-day affair in India. This precarity and injustice can only be fought by the path of struggle shown by the Yazaki workers, that is, by getting organised under the red banner and by waging determined struggles. It is only the struggles of the working class that have earned them the dignity and rights.