Suspended Bellsonica Workers Start Hunger Strike
Suspended workers of Bellsonica Auto Component India, in Haryana’s Manesar, on a hunger strike.
Suspended Bellsonica Auto Component India workers started an indefinite hunger strike outside the factory in Haryana’s Manesar on Thursday. The worker would continue the strike unless reinstated.
The workers union alleged that workers were suspended or dismissed despite several efforts to have talks with the labour department and the management. The recent development highlights the conflicts between the union and the management since 2021.
Union general secretary Ajit Singh told Newsclick that 17 workers have been dismissed and 13 suspended in the last three months. Of the 17 workers, 13 were permanent while the remaining were old employees with, at least, seven years of service.
“We tried every way possible to get justice and talked with the management, labour department and media to no avail. The fight for better and dignified working conditions cost us our jobs,” he alleged.
The hunger strike was launched to “stress the need for the intervention of both management and labour department”, he added.
The worker-management tension increased after 33 permanent employees were accused of submitting fake documents at their appointment.
The company’s human resources vice-president MN Sahu defended the suspensions. The workers were aware of the impending investigation into verifying their documents, mentioned in their employment letters, he told Newsclick over the phone.
“Their contract letter explicitly stated that the company reserves the right to terminate them if any discrepancy is found in their documents,” he said.
He alleged that the 13 workers had “produced fake certificates and two out of them were from work”. The strike “violates a court stay order which prohibited any sit-in protest outside the factory”, he further alleged.
Singh, however, insisted that all the “permanent workers were selected as per the eligibility criteria and went through rigorous verification before being made permanent”.
They were “punished for calling out the unfair labour practices”, he alleged.
Monu Singh, a lawyer associated with the union, said that the “court order didn’t mention the distance workers should maintain for a sit-in protest”. “The only condition specified was that workers would not be permitted to sit inside the premises or anywhere else where production would be disrupted,” he said.
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