Monday, September 4, 2017

A spree of rebellions in Noida – Greater Noida

translation from FMS August 2017

A spree of rebellions in Noida – Greater Noida

50 kilometres off Delhi. Posh multi-storey apartments spread over 25 acres. 2700 residential units. Gate-guard-CCTV cameras. Mahagun Moderne society. Early in the morning on 12 July 2017, a mob, led by hundreds of women doing domestic work, collected from illegal slums surrounding the apartment complex and stormed into Mahagun Moderne. Stones, sticks, iron rods. Riots. Armed police personnel arrived in four trucks.

Zohra, a worker, had been demanding outstanding dues of Rs 3500 for the past 2 months. On the evening of 11 July, her employer accused her of stealing and shut her up in a room. When Zohra's husband went to Mahagun Moderne society at night to search for her, he was told that she was not there. He came back with policemen, and they were again told that Zohra was not in the society. Discussions during nighttime among the the women doing sweeping, laundering, cooking-serving-dish washing work in the society and men doing construction work, etc. living in the slums. At 4 in the morning, women from the slums started collecting outside the gates of Mahagun Moderne. The crowd swelled. Commotion. Guards brought a semi-conscious Zohra from inside the society.

The agitating workers did not physically attack any resident of Mahagun Moderne society. Only some glass was shattered. However, the 2700 resident families of the posh colony were terrorized. One resident said she along with her husband and son hid in the bathroom for an hour and a half to save her life. On 13 July, the residents decided to bar all domestic workers from entering the society. Many families ordered food from outside.

“The point is that they must be taught a lesson ...If they can unite, why can’t we?” a resident of the society said.

Another said she woke up an hour early. Planning to buy “a wiper which is made with new-age technology” for cleaning. “They are like a bone stuck in our throats — can’t be swallowed, can’t be spat out"- another resident. It is necessary to be vigilant.

“They tried to show that they did not have rights. I feel that we do not have any human rights. We are the poor ones,” said another from the housing complex.

“We worship them, because they are such an important part of our lives ... We first feed them and then eat. I would give her tea before making her do her chores.”

“I think they hate us. There is a definite class divide. They hate us for our money."

The head of security at Mahagun Moderne - “Right now, the residents are very angry and shocked. But before long, they will have to find new maids. How will life go on otherwise?”

Noida’s superintendent of police: "it was striking how quickly the homeowners had turned on their employees, accusing them falsely.."

The police arrested 78 workers on the night of 12 July. None of the residents of the society had suffered as much as a scratch, yet, 13 of the workers were charged with attempt to murder.

And, a union minister came to Mahagun Moderne for a meeting with the residents of the societies of that area. Assuring the residents of their safety, the minister said that the 13 arrested workers "will not get bail for years to come".

Instead of sitting on the floor, domestic workers now sit on sofas. They sit on chairs even while their employers are around. They answer back. Riddle: Why is it that the poor don't kill the rich?
These invisible workers, lakhs of domestic workers are time-bombs.....

Unions to rein them in: At the district court, a lawyer said that the police officials had to be given Rs 600 in bribe to procure copies of the FIRs against the 13 arrested workers. A Delhi based union intervened and collected Rs 1000 from the workers on the pretext of bribing the police...

(Information obtained from reports by Ms. Suhasini and Ms. Ellen in the New York Times, Ms. Anumeha in the Caravan Magazine, Ms. Kalpana in Scroll, Mr. Manu in Mint)

Mobile phone company, Vivo India which was the official sponsor for this year's IPL (cricket tournament business), has a manufacturing unit at the World Trade Center in Greater Noida. Vivo India has bought the title-sponsorship of IPL for the next five years for Rs 22 billion. Vivo is the sponsor for the Pro Kabaddi (a sport) league as well.

Demand for Vivo phones fell after the IPL season. A majority of the fifteen thousand workers assembling the mobile handsets are temporary workers. Production line workers are paid a monthly salary of Rs 7000 ($109). As per policy, the company started sacking workers. 500-1000 workers had been fired and there were talks to fire 2000 more workers. On 25 July, at 8 in the morning, 20 workers who had come to the factory for duty were made to sit in the tea area for settling their dues. During lunch break, another 100 temporary workers reached the spot. All of a sudden, the workers rebelled. Windows were broken. Cellphone assembly units were demolished. The terrorized management called the police. Additional guards were rushed in from security companies. Six workers were arrested and the company put up a notice suspending operations on 26 July.

The frenzied Vivo management spoke in two voices: the violence happened because of a misunderstanding. The workers were not being sacked, they were only being sent to another section for training. "The workers confused 'move' with 'remove'." It is the company's policy to sack workers to maintain and improve productivity.

Shaken by the workers' revolt, the Vivo management, along with representatives of the embassy of the People’s Republic of China, met police officials in the district. The police assured them of safety and asked the company to inform the police in advance about its retrenchment plans, so that the police can be vigilant in preventing a repeat of 25 July.

On 26 July, workers of Majestic Auto's factory in Greater Noida stopped production protesting the sacking of 8 workers by the management.

2500 workers of Priyagold biscuit factory at Surajpur rebelled on 29 June at 8pm. Police personnel came to the factory in over 20 vehicles to control the workers. On the following day, 30 June, the workers did not go to the factory.

Workers upsurge was seen in March 2017 in the Oppo mobile factory in Noida.

Three thousand workers of Orient Craft garment factory at Noida, Sector-63 revolted on 1 October 2016. Forces from many police stations had to be called to control the workers.

Open defiance of workers at LG India's factory at Greater Noida in July 2016...

180 million mobile handsets are manufactured annually in the Noida-Greater Noida area in nearly 25 factories such as Samsung, Lava, Intex, Oppo, Vivo, etc. Companies are extremely worried over the increasing revolts of workers in the region. The India head of a mobile company said that a meeting of prominent mobile handset manufacturers in Noida-Greater Noida is being planned to draw up strategies to deal with the rebellions.

(Information obtained from reports by Mr. Vinit in the Hindustan Times, Mr. Arnab in Business Standard and Mr. Shafaque in the Times of India.)

Kamunist Kranti/Faridabad Majdoor Samachar contributions to the internationalist communist summer meeting organized by TPTG, Underground Tunnel and friends from 11th to 17th July 2017 in Greece.

I II III IV v Greece Discussion by baatein1 on Scribd

Managerial Theory, Part I: James Burnham & the Managerial Revolution

fms August 2017

“Two days certain. Three days uncertain. Two days certain. Three days uncertain. Two days certain. Three days uncertain.”

“What are you chanting and smiling about?”

“Just repeating what a manager surmised today to press and police.”

“Maybe it’s the last three weeks. A monsoon of rebellion.”

“And today had an argument with a friend who denounced co-workers for being unable to do anything together.”

“What an odd claim! These are thoughts that cut into thinking itself! I do wonder if they’re mere repetitions of what power would like us to think.”

“Was telling him, just look at the rebellion of 300 workers in Noida. It reminds of the shivers and radiance the Maruti rebellion brought everywhere. Ministers have come running, such is the fear.”

“So funny, the assertion of Manu’s Laws of Punishment to give courage to crouching house owners. Law, the constitution, legal process, and investigation were all pushed aside to say — No bails will be allowed.”

“Ha ha! These are not forts, but paper-mâché acropolises. It took five thousand years to masquerade the Laws of Punishment as justice, and one strong push to melt away the disguise.”

“Agreed, but a correction. This is not a lone shake. This shake is one in a long series. Unremitting.”

“Yes. It’s important that when we see one massive shake, we not think only of that specific force. Sometimes we do see one moment—a fluctuation in a tremor—up close, and feel its scale. But vibrations of this tremor move and dance in the companionship of vibrations of many such tremors.”

“In companionship of tremors. Fantastic. Last week about 800 workers in an auto-parts company, learning from construction workers in Saudi Arabia, did not appear for work. They stayed home. Rested. Made love. Wrote poetry. The next day as well. The third day, same thing. Fourth day, ditto. Management baffled. Armed police standing outside factory gates, confused.”

“Let me extend this song line. By now you would have seen, on WhatsApp, a calm and proud image of a few thousand workers in yellow uniform and helmets?”

“Yes! That was a photo of workers resting after having ransacked the management office.”

“Let me extend the song line, taking it again through Noida. This time it’s a mobile phone factory. More than 15,000 workers. Production vacillates sharply. They hire you, make you work, then let you go. Snip snip. So that this habit of the management does not become habitual and embedded, a rebellion sang itself in. Machinery on one floor of the factory was smashed. The tremor is massive.”

“I’m running late, so listen to my song. It’s Okhla. A garment factory. A drone of urgent shipment, drumbeats of deadlines. And then, another tune emerges. At 6, all machines shut down and everyone sat around them. They looked quietly at one another. They smiled. A tranquility descends. The chairman and MD break into a sweat. What do they say? New grade will be applied, and all arrears will be paid. With immediate effect.”

“Certainty, two days. Uncertainty, three days.”

“Keep the recent three weeks in mind and think of the last 7 years.”

“You suggest another reality around us, of rebellious expressions. And to string these into more and more song lines.”

“It’s Gurgaon, and groups of about 100 workers who work in houses assemble at the gates of housing societies. The resident association calls the police. The constables stand up, smiling.”

“Certainty, two days. Uncertainty, three days.”

Faridabad Majdoor Samachar (Faridabad Workers’ News)
Issue # 350
August 2017

Page 1: In Companionship, Fantastic.
Page 2: Many Thoughts Amidst Conversations with Many
Page 3: Steps in Togetherness; Commoning; Accidents
Page 4: Noida to Greater Noida: Waves of Rebellions

FMS September 2017 by baatein1 on Scribd