Accidents, Death, Repression and Unionisation in SPM Autocomp Systems Pvt. Ltd., Manesar: A Report

Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Manesar, Haryana is known, not only as an industrial belt in the National Capital Region (NCR) but also as the home to the Maruti plant and the struggle by its workers. It is well known that 13 active union members of Maruti's Manesar plant have been given life imprisonment by the trial court recently. Workers in this unit managed to get their union registered in January 2012 after months of very hard struggle. The above judgment is reflective of the fact that not only is the formation of a union difficult; the active union members are routinely targeted by the managements. Maruti is not the only company in the area where the workers have been struggling to form unions and are also being penalised for doing so. The workers of SPM Autocomp Systems Pvt. Ltd. are suffering the same fate at the hands of the management and police and the domino effect of Maruti struggle and convictions have been felt in SPM struggle documented below.

The struggle for union formation in SPM became urgent since April 2017 after a worker died in the factory in horrific conditions. PUDR conducted a fact-finding into the conditions in the factory on the 18 and 24 of October. The team met the workers, the police at the Police Station (PS) for Sector 3 (Aliyar PS), Manesar and the lawyer dealing with the cases of the workers. The team also went to the plant in order to meet the management but no one from the management was available.

Manufacturer of Exhaust Maniflod, Case Differential & Steering Knuckle, SPM company caters to the needs of passenger cars and commercial vehicles for a number of companies including Maruti. In Manesar, the company has a foundry and a machine shop. The former employs unskilled workers whereas the workers in the Machine Shop are often graduates from ITIs. The foundry has nearly 350 workers, of which only a handful is regular employees of the company, the rest are employed on a contractual basis through labour contractors. The Machine Shop, on the other hand, has 180 regular workers and some contractual workers. Apart from these, there are 10-15 workers employed for packaging, loading, unloading, cleaning and other miscellaneous tasks.

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