GurgaonWorkersNews – Newsletter 38 (May 2011)

Gurgaon in Haryana is presented as the shining India, a symbol of capitalist success promising a better life for everyone behind the gateway of development. At a first glance the office towers and shopping malls reflect this chimera and even the facades of the garment factories look like three star hotels. Behind the facade, behind the factory walls and in the side streets of the industrial areas thousands of workers keep the rat-race going, producing cars and scooters for the middle-classes which end up in the traffic jam on the new highway between Delhi and Gurgaon. Thousands of young proletarianised middle class people lose time, energy and academic aspirations on night-shifts in call centres, selling loan schemes to working-class people in the US or pre-paid electricity schemes to the poor in the UK. Next door, thousands of rural-migrant workers up-rooted by the rural crisis stitch and sew for export, competing with their angry brothers and sisters in Bangladesh or Vietnam. And the rat-race will not stop; on the outskirts of Gurgaon, new industrial zones turn soil into over-capacities. The following newsletter documents some of the developments in and around this miserable boom region. If you want to know more about working and struggling in Gurgaon, if you want more info about or even contribute to this project, please do so via:

http://www.gurgaonworkersnews.wordpress.com
gurgaon_workers_news@yahoo.co.uk

In the May 2011 issue you can find:

1) Proletarian Experiences -
Daily life stories and reports from a workers’ perspective

*** Garment and Torment: Reports from Local Textile Workers -
Short reports collected and distributed in Faridabad Majdoor Samachar in early 2011, including companies like Gaurav International, Pearl Global, Richa and Company and news from industrial areas in Gurgaon, Manesar, Faridabad, Noida, Biwari.

*** Work-Force Composition at Honda HMSI, a Worker’s Report-
Short report on permanent / temporary workers composition in different departments at Honda HMSI factory in Gurgaon, Manesar.

*** Slum Demolition and Violent Resistance in Faridabad, Report by Nagrik -
In early 2011 in Faridabad, bulldozers sent by HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority) turned houses of several hundred working class families into rubble.

2) Collective Action -
Reports on proletarian struggles in the area

*** Police Attacks Harsoria Healthcare Workers in Gurgaon -
Police attacks striking Harsoria Healthcare Workers on 25th April 2011. The workers had been on strike since 17 days.

*** Short Wildcat Strikes in the Garment Industry -
Short wildcat strikes at Valaya company and Concept Clothing.

3) About the Project -
Updates on Gurgaon Workers News

*** Delhi’s Calling: Take Part in Faridabad Majdoor Talmel -
To abolish the global work/war house will take more than informative exercise! If you live in Delhi area, please be welcomed to take part in Faridabad Majdoor Talmel – a workers’ coordination. We distribute Faridabad Majdoor Samachar on ten days each month in various industrial areas around Delhi. You can also participate in the workers’ meeting places which have been opened in various workers’ areas. If you are interested, please get in touch. For more background on Faridabad Majdoor Talmel see:
Faridabad Majdoor Talmel

*** GurgaonWorkersNews Translations -
New translations by friends of Passa Palavra into Portuguese.

————

1) Proletarian Experiences -
Daily life stories and reports from a workers’ perspective

*** Garment and Torment: Reports from Local Textile Workers -
Short reports collected and distributed in Faridabad Majdoor Samachar in early 2011.

Gaurav International Worker
(198, Udyog Vihar Phase 1)
Management forces women workers to come to the factory at 6 am in the morning and makes them stay till 10 pm. There is a high work load – Management swears a lot at the women workers, they say:”Why do we pay double for overtime?!” – when actually only the first two hours are paid double. Male workers work from 9 am till 10:45 pm, and they often have to stay till 6 am next day.

Pearl Global Worker
(446, Udyog Vihar Phase 5)
Most of the 1,500 to 2,00 workers are hired through contractor. Work starts at 9 am and they make you work till 4 am next morning. Only two hours overtime are paid double. If there is less work, they kick you out. They cut ESI and PF money, but workers get only old ESI cards and no fund money when they leave the job.

Richa and Company
(193, Udyog Vihar Phase 1)
Every Saturday you have to work from 9 am till next day 6 am. Even if you have to work 21 hours on stretch they don’y pay extra for food. Only first two hours overtime at double rate.

RK Footwear Components
(529 and 549, Sector 37)
Only 25 out of 250 workers get ESI and PF, They manufacture soles and heels for the shoe industry. The 25 workers get 7,000 to 8,000 Rs, the rest get 3,600 to 4,000 Rs. Monthly 100 to 125 hours overtime paid single rate. management swears a lot, sometimes beats people.

Indian Hand Fab Worker
(92, Udyog Vihar Phase 1)
Helpers wages are 3,500 to 4,000 Rs. The skilled tailors work on piece rate. Daily working time is from 9:30 am till 9 pm, often till 1 am. Wages are delayed. Theb toilets are very dirty. The 30 to 35 senior workers and the supervisors are allowed to go outside, the rest of the workers have to use the dirty toilets inside.

Shivang Export Worker
(Plot 146, Udyog Vihar Phase 1, Gurgaon)
You normally work from 9 am till 11 pm, but they often make you work till next day 8 am. There is a fixed time when you have to arrive at the factory, but there is no fixed time when you can leave it. On Sundays they make you work till 2 am, too. We work 150 to 250 hours overtime, money gets embezzled, around 200 to 500 Rs each month. If you work from 9 am till 11 pm they give you 15 Rs extra for food. There is no canteen and they won’t let you go outside. They tell you that you can go and eat at home once you have finished work. If you have to work till 8 am, they give you 20 Rs extra and they let you leave the factory for an hour between 8 am and 9 am – but they cut this hour from your overtime. Even if you work 14 or 23 hour on stretch you won’t get a free cup of tea. There are more than 1,000 workers in the factory – but not a single one gets ESI or PF. The thread-cutting female workers get 3,800 to 4,000 Rs, the packing helpers get 4,200 to 4,300 Rs. The tailors get 170 to 175 Rs per 8-hours day. There are a lot of troubles to get drinking water. The toilets are dirty. The situation in the other factory of the company on plot 669 in Udyog Vihar Phase 5 is the same.

Enrich Agro Food Products Worker
(Plot 277, Udyog Vihar Phase 2, Gurgaon)
This is a bottling plant for Coca Cola. The 125 workers hired through two different contractors get 3,000 to 3,200 Rs. December to February there is less work to do, the rest of the year we work 12 to 14 hours a day.

Rolex Worker
(695 Udyog Vihar Phase 3, Gurgaon)
If you leave the job, you have major difficulties to get your outstanding wages. Sometimes they say that there is no money, sometimes they say that they have sent it somewhere, sometimes they tell you to come back another time…

Chelsea Mills Worker
(360 Udyog Vihar Phase 4, Gurgaon)
You work from 8 am till 10 pm, then from 1 am again till 6 am. They give you 20 Rs extra if they make you work full nights. here are 800 male and 200 female workers. The bosses swear and sometimes beat people.

Spark Worker
(166 Udyog Vihar Phase 1)
There are 400 workers hired through the contractor ‘MR Stitchwell’ in the factory. When you leave the job and go to the PF office they say that for the last four to five years no PF money has been paid into the account.

Marks Export Worker
(370 Udyog Vihar Phase 2)
The thread cutting workers get 3,500 Rs, the skilled tailors and checker get 4,864 Rs. The make you work from 9:30 am till 11 pm. We manufacture garments for Chicos. Whenever a representative of the buyer [client] turns up, around 50 to 60 out of the 500 workers are kept outside of the factory and are not paid for the dat.

RK Footwear Components
(787 Udyog Vihar Phase 5)
Normal working-times are from 8 am till 8 pm, but 15 to 20 days a month you work till 2 am – they pay you 20 Rs extra for food then. You also work on Sundays. The helpers are paid between 3,600 rs and 4,000 Rs, the operators between 4,000 and 4,500 Rs. Only 10 out of 50 workers get ESI and PF. We manufacture heels and soles for Lakhani (Faridabad), Amar Shoes (NOIDA), Liner (Agra), Liberty (Karnal), Goodladder (Chennai). There is verbal and physical mistreatment from management.

Casual Wear / GAP Worker
(263 Udyog Vihar Phase 4)
About 150 male and 50 female workers work from 9 am till 9 pm, often till 1 am. The company pays only 20 Rs extra for food. We manufacture garments for GAP.

EEL Worker
(401 and 510, Udyog Vihar Phase 3)
There are 40 permenent and 500 temporary workers, manufacturing machines for cement factories on 12-hours shifts. Overtime rate single. Around 300 temporary workers get 4,000 Rs per month. PF is cut from wages, but when you leave the job after three, four month of employment, you won’t get the fund money.

News from Faridabad

ESKO Die-Casting / Phillips Worker
(Ploy 37, Sector 27a, Faridabad)
Around 100 workers assemble Phillips halogen lighting on two 12-hours shifts. Sunday is a working day, too. After workers raised demand for higher wages, double rate for overtime as per law, minimum wages for the 65 workers hired through contractors, ESI and PF – management suspended one of the 35 permanent workers. The company has recently opened a third plant in sector 58.

http://www.eskocast.com/

Kunj Bihari Textiles Worker
(Plot 95, Sector 25, Faridabad)
Out of the 2,500 to 3,000 workers olnly 50 to 60 get ESI and PF. There are two `12-hours shifts. If you work every day, 12-hours a day, you’ll get 4,800 Rs per month. If the reliever does not turn up, they make you stay longer – even if the reliever does turn up they sometimes force you to work beyond your 12-hours. If they force you to work 36 hours they will only give you 25 Rs extra for food. If you work 12 hours they won’t give you a free cup of tea either. The drinking water is bad. There are only six toilets for 3,000 workers.

Colour Line Worker
(151, DLF Phase 1, Faridabad)
About 150 workers dye textiles on two 12 hours shifts. No weekly day off. For a 30-days month of 12-hours days the helpers get 4,500 Rs, the operators get 5,000 Rs. Wages are delayed. Only two or three workers get ESI or PF.

Alpia Paramounts Worker
(Plot 60, Sector 25, Faridabad)
There are 300 workers on two 12-hours shifts. We manufacture plastic parts for Whirlpool, Samsung, LG fridges. We also have to work on Sundays. Only 20 workers get ESI and PF. The helpers get 3,500 Rs. Drinking water is bad. The toilets are dirty.

City Textile Industries Worker
(18, DLF Phase 2, Faridabad)
Around 150 workers on two 12-hours shifts, dyeing textiles. The helpers get 2,960 Rs, the operators get 3,200 to 3,400 Rs. The 20 workers who get ESI and PF are forced to sign that they receive the minimum wage, actually they get the same wages as everyone else. The drains get blocked all the time, the factory overflows with chemical-water. If you have to stand in this water, you get ill. There is also fear of electric shocks.

STL Global Worker
(Plot 4, Sector 6, Faridabad)
Two 12-hours shifts of textile dyeing. helpers get 4,500 Rs, operators get 6,000 Rs. Wages are delayed. Only 12 out of 700 workers get ESI and PF.

Deepak Enterprises
(25/7 Industrial Area, Faridabad)
The helpers hired through contractor get 3,000 Rs, the operators get 4,000 Rs. No ESI, no PF. Sundays 5-hours shift, all other days 12-hours.

News from Manesar

Vatika India Next Worker
For their construction site close to Rampura on National Highway 8, Vatika Company has hired building workers through contractors. Around 500 women workers are employed to transport bricks and mortar. They are paid 110 to 130 Rs for an 8-hours day.

Kumar Printers Worker
(Plot 24 and 38, Sector 5, IMT Manesar)
Management has put up a notice inside the factory that for the support of the family of a company worker who has died after a work accident, a daily 12-hours wage will cut from each workers’ wage. The notice does not say how much money the company will pay to the deceased employee. In the meantime, on 30th of December 2010 a worker who had already worked 12-hours in the factory on plot 38 was told to work another 12-hours shift in the plant on plot 24. The worker refused, so management told the supervisor to dismiss the worker.

Crewbos Production Worker
(Plot 12, Sector 5, IMT Manesar)
Around 5,000 workers are employed, manufacturing leather bags and boots for Fossil and Next. They work from 9 am till midnight, often till 4 am next day. The 100 to 125 hours monthly overtime is paid at 33 Rs per hour. Since January 250 workers are send home at 8 pm. Their overtime is not paid. They have been set a production target for these 11 hours which would need 12 hours to achieve. For 26 days they receive 6,000 to 6,500 Rs. The rest of the workers have not been paid their January wages yet – it’s now the 25th of February. December overtime has not been paid either. In the company factory on plot 8 in sector 7 around 2,000 more workers manufacture leather belts and purses.

http://www.crewbos.com/factories.html

News from NOIDA

JPC Worker
(A-45, Sector 83, NOIDA)
Around 300 workers are employed on two 12-hours shifts, they dye textiles. There is no weekly day off. Only 50 workers get ESI and PF, these workers are paid 5,500 Rs for a 30-days month of 12-hours shifts. The rest get 4,500 Rs for the same working-time. management cuts 500 Rs for ESI and PF from their wages, but they don’t get neither ESI nor PF. Drinking water is bad. The toilets are dirty. The supervisors swear a lot.

News from Biwari

Jaguar Worker
The factory is near Rico and Nilam Chowk. Around 2,700 workers are employed on two 12-hours shifts, they manufactur copper fittings. Overtime is paid at single rate – overtime is not shown on the pay slip. Helpers are paid 3,300 Rs and skilled workers 4,300 to 4,500 Rs.

http://www.indiamart.com/jaguar-international/

*** Work-Force Composition at Honda HMSI -

Honda HMSI worker
(Plot 1, Sector 3, IMT Manesar)
In the VQMC department of the bike plant around 900 workers are employed on two shifts. The bikes which have just left the assembly line are checked for flaws, the breaks, speedometer and engine are checked. After flaws have been removed the bike goes into final check and then to the trucks. In this department 50 to 60 permanent workers, 20 company casuals and 800 workers hired through three different contractors are employed. In the VQMC there are three short conveyor systems. On one shift, at one conveyor there are five permanent (two executives and three line leaders), two company casuals and 40 workers hired through contractor. In most departments the main job of the permanent workers is to make others work. Be it in the scooter or in the bike plant, the main production work is done by workers hired through contractors. Those permanent workers with an engineering degree get 350,000 Rs per year. The workers hired through contractor get a basic wage of 4,700 Rs, 1,050 Rs housing allowance, production bonus of 850 Rs. From the total wage of 6,600 Rs 509 Rs for PF and 108 Rs for ESI is cut. There are 1,800 permanent workers and 6,500 workers hired through contractors in the actual production departments. Another 400 workers hired through contractor work in the parking and logistics, this is after the final check. Another 500 workers hired through five contractors do the cleaning work. In the canteen 150 to 200 workers work, hired through contractors. There are 300 security guards hired through contractors. Another 120 drivers hired through contractor drive the 60 company busses, 50 to 60 temporary drivers drive company cars. There are 400 truck drivers driving 200 trucks with finished vehicles. On B-shift each Monday overtime till 1:30 am is compulsory. On C-shift (night) there are 500 to 600 workers who actually do overtime from the previous shift.

*** Slum Demolition and Violent Resistance in Faridabad -

Edited translation from:
Nagrik, February 2011
nagriknews@gmail.com

The Bulldozers Roll Again in Faridabad’s Slums

The ugly – but true – face behind the Congress slogan ‘Be with Congress, because Congress is with the poor’ appeared once again in form of the HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority) bulldozers, which recently turned 200 to 300 slum huts in Patel Nagar into a heap of bricks and rubble.

During the first week of January, when everyone was suffering from the immense cold wave, HUDA bulldozers secured by large amounts of police destroyed the dwellings of several hundred working class families, forcing them to live under the open sky. Workers did not put up with this. Under the leadership of the ‘Revolutionary Workers’ Centre’ and other local leaders, hundreds of workers opposed the police force. The police resorted to several lathi charges, workers answered by throwing stones. Taking advantage of the chaotic and scattered condition of the workers, the demolition squads could start to tear down the huts. The demolition continued till night. Where there used to be the sound of playing kids, there is now the silence of a graveyard.

The demolition has been announced a moth in advance, Pathetic local leaders had reassured the workers that under Congress no bulldozers would be sent, Given that there had been several similar announcements in the past, local people did not take it serious – after all they had lived in the slum for 30 to 35 years. They had obtained their 10 to 15 feet of land by bone-breaking work. They had a case running at the Supreme Court, so they hoped that no one would displace them without going through the legal procedure normally used to deal with long-term dwellers. This time the administration’s attitude was more ruthless. The pathetic local leaders warned people that slogans and demonstrations against the government would have negative results. Why not meeting the Minister, who is also a representative of this area? The local leaders met up with the local legislator and Minister of Labour Mahendra Pratap. The Minister reassured them that no demolitions would take place and if so, people should resist, he would come to Patel Nagar himself. When the demolition started neither the Minister arrived nor the pathetic local leaders could be seen in Patel Nagar.

HUDA said that the demolition was part of a slum re-placement project, that flats would be built and that the previous dwellers will be re-housed. In order to get a one-room flat in the new colony – which is situated in Sector 58, far out from town – a worker will have to pay installments of about 3,000 Rs per month and will have to provide formal proof of at least 15 years of residency. It is a sure thing that the pathetic local leaders – who have been land-lords and land owners in the old slum – will be entitled to get hold of the new flats. The middle-class residents of the colony neighbouring the slum also played their role in the demolition. These ladies and gentlemen had tried for the last seven, eight years to have the slum at their doorstep removed. They claimed that at the time when they obtained their flats HUDA had promised them a park – but the slum dwellers had taken over the land meant for their morning walks. In protest they stopped paying water and electricity bills and went to court.

2) Collective Action -
Reports on proletarian struggles in the area

*** Police attacks striking workers at Harsoria Healthcare -

Gurgaon is also a hub for global medical supply, companies like Ranbaxy, Medikit and others produce goods for the international medical complex. Workers at Harsoria Healthcare – like earlier on their casual workmates at eastern Medikit – had had it and collectively stopped work. Management and state responded. Report by friends…

640 striking workers in Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon lathicharged and forcefully dispersed!!

640 workers working in Harsoria Healthcare, Plot 110-111, Phase IV, Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon have been on strike since 9th April 2011 pressing their demands for the re-instatement of 7 workers of the executive body of their Union. The company is a reputed brand in the disposable medical devices industry with an annual output of $300m and a distribution network across 40 countries, which says that it “prides itself on the quality of its workforce”.

Its “workforce” meanwhile, daily exploited under extractive factory conditions and insecure employment, had formed an union three months back to take up their demands, which included demand to give permanent status to contract and casual workers, an increase of wage while the company paid less or equal to the minimum wage for unskilled workers in Haryana, for ESI-PF benefits, improvement of the horrible working conditions and against the stringent surveillance inside the factory. Apart from direct within-the-factory exploitation, the company also had forced workers to join and pay a monthly ‘hafta’ to an insurance company, Max, which when faced with pressure from the workers, ran away with the hard-earned money of the workers, almost amounting to Rs. 12-12,500 per worker, for workers who earn a meager Rs.4-4500 per month.

When faced with stiff struggle from the workers for their demands, the company responded by locking up 250 workers for 5 days, cutting off the water, electricity and food supplies. 9 more workers were thrown out, making the number of suspended workers 16. ‘Bouncers’ on the payroll of the company threatened and beat up the workers demonstrating outside and Haryana Police also arrived only to help the goons of the management enforce ‘order’.

For the last 17days, 300 workers in the day and 300 at night sat on demonstration to press their legitimate demands. Today, in the evening of 25th April 2011, a huge consignment of police came in full battle-gear and mercilessly attacked the workers, critically wounding six, and injuring many workers and dispersing the strikers, and facilitating the owners to truck-off the finished products from inside the factory.

This is not an isolated one-off incident but a normal feature of how production is organized in the shining model of capitalist development, Gurgaon, where over 4lakh workers mostly casual or on contract in the Udyog Vihar itself, produce for the super-profit of the corporates, with the government, the police and the judiciary as their lapdogs.

http://www.harsoria.com/

http://www.uniondata.org/harsoria-healthcare-pvt-ltd.htm

*** Short Wildcat Strikes in the Garment Industry -

Valaya Worker
(Plot 4, Sector 4, IMT Manesar)
Management forces female workers to work full nights at Valaya Clothing and Valaya Design. Only 50 to 60 out of 200 workers get ESI and PF. Even people who work in the company since three years don’t get ESI cards, no money has been paid into the provident fund. Only minimum wages are paid. Asking for higher wages, ESI cards and PF workers laid down tools the whole day on 1st of March. Management made promises.

Concept Clothing Worker
(Plot 433, Sector 37, Gurgaon)
The company hired people promising double rate overtime payment, but in January they actually paid single rate. They said that they will increase wages. They did not give a pay slip for December, they said that they will give one in January. On 7th of January, after management still had not handed out the pay slip, workers stopped working after the meal break. After one hour of production stop a manager came and said: “Go back to work, you will get the pay slip now”. The slip was given at three o’clock, but it did not show overtime, neither ESI nor PF. The workers got angry and beat up the manager. The police arrived, they said that the pay slip and wages will be given on 12th of January. Workers said that without double payment of overtime survival becomes difficult, and they asked management not to cut ESI and PF contributions from wages. But ESI and PF was cut from wages when they were finally paid on 12th of January. They did not hand out ESI cards though, and people who leave the job don’t get PF money. If anyone punches out 5 minutes before official end of shift, the personnel manager cuts half a day from wages. When people quit the job they are made to sign their resignation and they are told that the outstanding wages will be paid on the last Saturday of the following month. In this way, on 26th of January around 40 to 50 workers arrived, they were made to wait till 8pm, only two or three workers were paid, the rest were told to come back later. Five to ten day’s wages of several workers were embezzled by frequently telling them to come back another day.

3) About the Project -
Updates on Gurgaon Workers News

*** Delhi’s Calling: Take Part in Faridabad Majdoor Talmel -
To abolish the global work/war house will take more than informative exercise! If you live in Delhi area, please be welcomed to take part in Faridabad Majdoor Talmel – a workers’ coordination. We distribute Faridabad Majdoor Samachar on ten days each month in various industrial areas around Delhi. You can also participate in the workers’ meeting places which have been opened in various workers’ areas. If you are interested, please get in touch. For more background on Faridabad Majdoor Talmel see:

http://faridabadmajdoorsamachar.blogspot.com/p/fms-talmel.html

*** GurgaonWorkersNews Translations -
New translations by friends of Passa Palavra into Portuguese.

http://gurgaonworkersnews.wordpress.com/gurgaonworkersnewsgerman/#fn6

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