SOLIDARITY WITH DISPUTING TOYOTA WORKERS OF INDIA
Information from Bangalore, India (Feb. 15, 2006)
BANGALORE UNITED TRADE UNIONS' FORUM
Moved by VJK Nair, General Secretary,
Supported by HV Ananthasubba Rao, General Secretary,
Toyota: Do the Corporate Social Responsibility!
gFebruary 11 Aichi Toyota General Actionh - 1600 workers joined
Some 1600 workers from 15 prefectures of the country on February 11 carried on gToyota General Action,h shouting gToyota: Do the CSR inside and outside Japan!h to press Toyota Motor Corporation which makes an annual trillion yen profit in the past 3 consecutive years. It was sponsored by the Organizing Committee composed of 13 organizations including ZENROREN and AIROREN (Aichi Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions).
At the rally held in Yamanote Park, Toyota City, President Katsuaki Hane of AIROREN in his address criticized Toyota management for no wage increase made in the past 4 years and emphasized that gThe situation this year is different. Though it is only 1000 yen raise a month, the Toyota union has been compelled to make demand for wage hike. This is a result of our Toyota General Action.h Zenroren President Kanemichi Kumagai also made an address. Representatives of the pollution suit plaintiffs@and workers fighting against the Matsushita Plasma Display Co. in Osaka, and President Shigemi Ikuma of All Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workers Union (JMIU) spoke. A solidarity message from the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) was introduced to the participants.
The rally adopted a resolution gOpposing to the structural reform policy of the Koizumi Cabinet which gives a first priority to the interest of Big Business and expand disparity among peoples, against big tax increase to hit particularly the common people and to defend the peace Constitution of Japanh.
After the rally the participants marched to the Toyota head office, shouting in unison gImprove working conditions of contract and temporary workers,h gDonft impose unit price reduction to suppliers,h gMore jobs to young workers!h In the morning on that day, workers staged street propaganda activity in front of JR Nagoya and Toyota Stations.
On February 10 prior to the gToyota General Action,h Deputy Secretary General Yukio Iwata of ZENROREN, President Katsuaki Hane of AI-ROREN and other three representatives of Higashimikawa local federation, Air-pollution victim plaintiffs, and JCP Aichi Prefectural Committee, visited the Toyota head office and met General Manager Kenichi Yamaguchi, Administration Department, General Administration Division of Toyota.
Brother Iwata handed over a written demand addressed to Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda, in which among others ZENROREN has made demand in behalf of the CITU that:
- Toyota Management obey national laws relating to employment in every country worldwide;
- Toyota Management stop victimization at Bangalore to take back the 15+27= 42 workers to employment;
- Toyota Management at Bangalore negotiate with Toyota Kirloskar Motors Employees Union.
Mr. Yamaguchi of Toyota confined himself to listening some points raised by the representatives and replied that he would just communicate to the relevant section.
<Pictures show the rally and demonstration on February 11, 2006.>
MESSAGE from the CITU Centre to "February 11, Aichi Toyota General Action"
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) warmly congratulates ZENROREN and all participants in the "February 11, Aichi Toyota General Action" for expressing firm solidarity for the TKM workers in Bangalore. The solidarity expressed by our Japanese brothers have greatly enthused the struggling?workers.
The CITU union has demanded that management should withdraw all victimisation measures against workers for participating in the strike. The Toyota management should respect Indian Laws and implement them fully. We also demand that the Toyota management in Bangalore should settle all the demands relating to wages and service condition by negotiating with the CITU union.
The solidarity expressed by ZENROREN will strengthen the bonds of friendship between the Indian and Japanese workers.
The Japanese multi-national companies operating in India are attacking workers trade union and democratic rights. The solidarity and support expressed by ZENROREN will certainly inspire the Indian workers to carry forward their struggles till the Japanese multi-national companies respect trade union rights.
Long live the friendship between Indian and Japanese workers!
Long live solidarity between the Toyota workers in India and Japan!
M. K. Pandhe
President, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)
Information from Bangalore, India (Feb. 8, 2006)
By V.J.K. Nair, Vice-President of CITU, General Secretary of Karnataka State Committee of CITU, and Advisor & Authorized Representative of TKMEU
We are very happy to note that Zenroren is pursuing Toyota with the gFeb 11 Aichi Toyota General Actionh. Since we sent the last report in a swift development the Toyota Management at Bangalore has sent letters eproposal to dismissalf to e27f more workers allegedly connected with false charges of eviolencef etc., during the strike of 6th to 8th January 2006.
The same management had earlier refused to seek express permission of the Court before dismissing the ethree workersf and were stubborn refusing to listen to the advice of the conciliation officer to keep the three dismissals in abeyance.
Now they have proposed to dismiss the e27f even without charging them, and sought express permission of the Court for the Dismissals. Thus they escaped from their responsibility to hold edomestic enquiriesf as per the standing orders.
The total score in this battle is that e42f workers 6 out of 10 Officer Bearers are pushed out.
We have organized a ehunger strikef camp at Bannappa Park, Bangalore from 05-02-2006 and have stepped up the campaign. Media have widely covered the same.
Many Trade Unions have come together to form a Bangalore United Trade Unions Forum, which is having a press conference on 13th and will launch an Action Programme in support of Toyota.
Toyota Kirloskar workers have proposed to hold a General Body Meeting on 19th and consider issuing another Notice of Strike.
By third week of March there is a possibility of entire workers of Bangalore resorting to a General Strike in support of Toyota Workers.
Please reflect these demands also on your Action Programme.
- Toyota Management Obey National Laws relating to employment in every country Worldwide.
- Toyota Management stop victimization at Bangalore take back the 15+27=42 workers to employment.
- Toyota Management at Bangalore Negotiate with Toyota Kirloskar Motors Employees Union.
Information on a gFebruary 11 Aichi Toyota General Actionh(Feb. 7, 2006)
By ZENROREN International Department
Thank you for?your information of?the latest situation of the industrial dispute at?TKM in Bangalore, India.
We wish to express our respect for your great tenacity as well as?flexibility in leading the hard struggle against the?world?giant automobile maker Toyota.
Following?the "January 19 Action" at the first stage of our Spring Labor Offensive for 2006 in?the heart of Tokyo toward, among others, the?Tokyo head office of?Toyota, ZENROREN will be waging "Aichi (prefecture) General Action" to Toyota on February 10 and 11, 2006, to press various demands of workers and?common people?to?Toyota and its affiliated?companies by mobilizing more than 1500?ZENROREN members from?many other parts of the country.
While the Japanese workersf wages have decreased in the past seven years consecutively, big companies have been estimated to make substantial profit in the current term closing in March 2006, too. Toyota, in particular, makes more than 1 trillion yen of profit to have become one of the world largest companies which is influential inside and outside Japan. Toyota is not only the top corporation in automobile industry with the wide range of related businesses but also a key player in the economic and political arena of the country: Toyota holds a big voice at the Prime Ministerfs advisory body, Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, to play a leading role in proposing and promoting such bad politics as deregulation, labor laws revision, consumption tax increase, and makes misuse of Chairmanship of the Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) to manipulate politics by money power, which we should never overlook.
Main slogans of the gFebruary 11 Aichi Toyota General Actionh are:
- Donft evade the Corporate Social Responsibility, Toyota! Do the CSR at home and abroad!
- Stop intensifying work! Improve working conditions, wage hike and shorter work hours! Turn contract and temporary workers to regular employment! Expand employment opportunity for the youth!
- Guarantee an appropriate unit price to external suppliers! Stop bullying subcontractors!
- Establish a bronchial asthma relief project!
On February 11 afternoon, we will organize a rally at the Yamanote Park at Toyota City, 1.3 km from the Toyota factory, where ZENROREN President Kanemichi Kumagai and AI-ROREN President Katsuaki Hane as well as a Toyota workers, representatives of pollution suit plaintiffs and small- and medium-sized entrepreneursf federation will speak. After the rally, participants will be holding a demonstration toward the main gate of Toyota plant. Participants then will be separated into four groups to stage street propaganda action in front of the gates of the Head Office, Motomachi, Takaoka and Tsutsumi plants respectively.
Prior to the gFebruary 11 Aichi Toyota General Action,h some five representatives of AI-ROREN, ZENROREN, Higashimikawa local federation, Air-pollution victim plaintiffs, Diesel-Kyoto (joint struggle council of diesel industry workersf unions), and JCP Aichi Prefectural Committee, will meet the Toyota management at its Head Office in Toyota City on February 10 to call for the pressing demands of working people, including the earliest solution of the TKM labor dispute in Bangalore, India, in the interest of the workers and their union.
Information from Bangalore, India (Jan. 27, 2006)
By V.J.K. Nair, Vice-President of CITU, General Secretary of Karnataka State Committee of CITU, and Advisor & Authorized Representative of TKMEU
The management had announced in the papers on 20th January eliftingf of the lockout effective from the general shift of 21st. They wanted individual undertaking to be signed, before allowing the workers entry. The union decided to esendf the workers to the factory gate in their own hired vehicles; to report that they are prepared to work to hand over a letter from the union to the effect that the workmen will maintain production norms, discipline, observe standing orders and maintain safety.
Though the union requested BANGALORE METROPOLITAN TRANSPORT CORPORATION, who normally hire buses to anyone who requests on the 20th night and were assured the same, the management of BMTC when approached for the buses on the 21st morning, they refused to send any vehicle to Bidadi Industrial Area. It is clear that the management wanted the plans of the union/ workmen to fail on 21st, as they wanted individuals to report to work and not in a collective.
After examining various options such as marching to the factory on using any other mode (partially_ or staging a road blockade, we opted for the workmen to assemble in a park in front of the Office of the Principal Secretary, Department of Labour, Government of Karnataka. The workers numbering about 800 assembled near the Labour Secretaryfs Office by about 08.30a.m on 21st to demand that the government refer the dispute to adjudication and issue orders to ensure that the management start production as it is (Claimed to be) a public utility service with status quo ante 6-1-2006. Within half an hour of the workers led by S. Meenakshisundaram, Bangalore District General Secretary of CITU, the police swooped down on the workers and started rounding them up. The DCP (Central) Mr.Chabbi himself assaulted Com. Meenakshisundaram and dragged him to a van, along with many other workers. Gradually all the workers were taken to a reserve police ground near Koramangala. The Police did not treat the workers with the respect they deserve. They were not fed properly. MICO (Motor Industries Company) Employees Association arranged food and the police allowed the workers to be fed. Upon political intervention and social pressure, as many factories held gate meetings and condemned the arrest of the workmen they were released on self-bond. They police took down the names of only 600 workers and released to the press suppressing even that number and said that only 450 workers were detained.
The Police dismantled the tent, public address system etc., and took it away. Only a demonstration of CITU activists opposed to the Ulsoor Gate Police Station that took away the tent and paraphernalia made them to return the materials to the union.
The pressure of assembling near the Multistoried Buildings housing the Labour Secretaryfs Office, the arrest of the workmen etc., made the Government to immediately refer the dispute for adjudication to a Labour Court on 21st itself. The reference of the issue of justifiability of the strike and lockout was made. The Government prohibited the continuation of the strike eeven thoughf there was no strike at the time of the eprohibitionf. The Government did not eprohibitf the elockoutf as according to them the lockout had been already lifted.
22nd being a Sunday it was used for consultations, the union called for the General Body Meeting on 23rd Monday, which was duly held. In the meantime workers from all over Bangalore came in support of the Struggling Toyota Workers. Three leaders of Honda Motor Workers from Gurgaon who had a bitter struggle last August had come all the way to Bangalore and greeted the Toyota Workers on 23rd at Bannappa Park where the General Body Meeting was being held. The Management had in the meantime suspended a fresh 27 more workers totaling their number to 42 as on date.
The union General Body meeting held on 23rd unanimously resolved to report fro duty on 24th, but not to sign the undertaking in the form, which it was provided to the individuals, to take spot decision by the available leaders. At first the management declared that they would not take any worker without the undertaking. They then changed their stand and invited the remaining four of the Office Bearers to talk; but got one among them arrested and detained by the police. The Management had hired many batch of eGoondasf the attack the workers, if they decide to march to the city on their war and hundreds of policemen ready to lathi charge or fire on the workers, if they go back without signing the undertaking.
With the mobile phones being used the CITU leaders guided the leaders on the spot, as the management, the police and others were not allowing the CITU leaders to go to the factory gate. The union finally succeeded in getting the form of undertaking changed and got the objectionable portion removed. The workers could not be addressed by the CITU leaders other than by mobile phone loudspeaker. The CITU District Committee endorsed the emodifiedf form of undertaking and requested the workers to resume work, otherwise the management and the government would have treated that the workers are continuing the strike despite the prohibition by the Government. Although the workers were reluctant to give any undertaking the persuasion by the CITU Leaders Made them to resume work by AN of 24th.
The management refused to allow the workers to carry the mobile phone inside. The conditions became worse for the union as the workers were sought to be divided and a campaign was unleashed to get the CITU affiliation removed etc.,
The union held a General body Meeting in a eHallf at Kengeri Satellite Town nearest to Bidadi on the republic day. Even though a section of the workmen posed several questions, showed their resentment at the leadership (CITU) the overwhelming force of the workers who listened to the CITU leaders, Meenakshi Sundaram and VJK Nair, unanimously approved the plans of CITU to carry on the struggle outside the plant in the City, mobilizing support from all trade unions. The meeting ended with workers razing slogans in favour of CITU and against the management.
The plans for agitation is to pressurize the Government to order status quo ante, 6th January whereby the 27 newly suspended workers shall be allowed to work, the three dismissed workers against whose dismissals the strike started on 6th January, the justification of whose dismissals are referred to the Labour Court, ebe grantedf interim relief, a Court of Inquiry be instituted, and the management be prosecuted for violation of Industrial Disputes Act, in dismissing the ethree workersf etc.
The union has chalked out a plan of relay hunger strike at first, and an indefinite fast, Bangalore City wide campaign by a campaign committee, to involve all the unions in the campaign committee, and to organize civic action to pressurize the government to bring about a settlement of the dispute or orders as demanded by the union.
The relay hunger strike will start on 29th and a month long campaign is planned by the union and frequent reports will be sent about the same.
Mail from CITU (20/01/2006, 18:03)
Thank you for your letter dated January 19, 2006 along with message by Comrade Mistuo Bannai, Secretary General, ZENROREN regarding the illegal and arbitrary activities of the Toyota Kirloskar Motor management at Bangalore.
It will no doubt inspire the workers of the said company in their just struggle.
The message has been conveyed to the workers and we have released it to the press. The CITU very much appreciates the solidarity action by the ZENROREN and it will strengthen the ties of friendship between the Indian and Japanese workers.
M. K. Pandhe
Centre of Indian Trade Unions
Communication from ZENROREN (Jan. 19, 2006)
Please find attached herewith a message of solidarity from ZENROREN and some photos.
The ZENROREN and the Joint Struggle Committee for 2006 Spring Labor Offensive organized today "January 19 Action" in the center of Tokyo toward NTT, Toyota, Ministries of Finance and of Internal Affairs and Communications, and Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), holding various pressing demands.
At the rally in front of the Tokyo Head Office of Toyota Motor Corporation, ZENROREN President Kanemichi Kumagai in his sponsor's address referred to the incident at the TKM in Bangalore, India, criticized the illegal and arbitrary actions of the its management and demanded immediate withdrawal of the dismissal. After the rally, a 4-member delegation visited the Office and handed over a written demand for the 2006 Spring Labor Offensive which includes the matter of the TKM of India. Attached photos tell a state of the rally.
International Department, ZENROREN
We are surprised at your notification of the illegal and arbitrary actions of the Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) management in their factory at Bangalore, India. Toyota Motor Corporation, which owns 89 percent of the TKM factory, is one of the worldes giant multinationals and its Chairman Hiroshi Okuda, who is nicknamed gthe business circlesf Premier,h assumes Chairman of the Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation). We cannot restrain our indignation with the TKM management for its little respect for the laws of your land and behaving as if they are beyond any discipline and legal obligation.
In the name of 1.3 million members of ZENROREN and in place of its Executive Committee, I wish to express our fraternal solidarity with Brothers and Sisters of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and particularly those of its Karnataka State Committee who are struggling against the arbitrary dismissal of 3 workers at the TKM factory and demanding their reinstatement.
The Toyota Motor Corporation operates all over the world, including India. We demand that it should do its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) by observing international labor standards on multinational corporations enshrined in the ILO gTripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policyh and OECD gDeclaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprisesh including its gGuidelines for Multinational Enterprisesh.
The ZENROREN reiterates its commitment to our common struggle without frontier against multinationalsf highhanded activity and for social control over them.
In firm solidarity with you,
Mail from CITU (Jan. 11, 12006)
The Secretary General
We are constrained to bring to your notice the illegal and arbitrary actions of the management of M/s Toyota-Kirolskar Motors Limited in their factory at Bangalore, India. The management have little respect for the laws of the land and are behaving as if they are beyond any discipline and legal obligation.
The management dismissed 3 workers on 3rd January 2006 arbitrarily without any justification. The management had brought some charges against 15 workmen and the matter was before an Industrial Tribunal for hearing. When such cases are before any tribunals, the company cannot terminate from job or punish him in any other way. This is Indian Law. But violating the law, 3 workers out of the 15 were terminated from service.
The workers went on strike against such dismissal. The officers of the Labour Department of the State of Karnataka advised the management to take the workers back to work, on 7th January 2006. But the management refused to do so and declared lock-out on 8th January 2006.
We are sorry to say that this case reminds us of the incident of Honda factory at Gurgaon, near Delhi.
We hope that workers in Toyota Motor Industries in particular or the workers in the automobile industries in general in Japan under your leadership, shall come forward against such illegal actions by the management.
Your solidarity actions shall be of great inspiration and support to the struggling workers in Toyota-Kirloskar Motors Limited.
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)
In response to the appeal from All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and Centre of Indian Trade Unions?(CITU) respectively, the ZENROREN on 3 August 2005 sent?its messages of solidarity to the above two centers and Honda workers of India, which you can find in gWhatfs New from eZENRORENfh