EXTRA URGENT!: 13 Trade Unionists in India Facing Death Sentences or Life Imprisonment!; Punishment to be decided this Friday!; Pls
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Please help us save the lives of the Maruti 13 and obtain freedom for all the imprisoned Indian trade unionists by endorsing the Open Letter to the Indian Ambassador to the United States. [See Open Letter following Appeal from Nambiath Vasudevan and Daniel Gluckstein.]
We also urge you to contact your union and/or community organization with the request that they endorse this Open Letter and send their own statements, on their letterheads, to the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC (with copies to us at <firstname.lastname@example.org>).
We have only two days to secure their freedom. The sentencing takes place on Friday, March 17.
Please act now! Thanking you in advance for your support,
Member of the Continuations Committee
of the Mumbai World Conference Against
War, Exploitation and Precarious Labor
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13 TRADE UNIONISTS IN INDIA FACING DEATH SENTENCES OR LIFE IMPRISONMENT!
The workers and trade union activists at the Manesar factory of the Maruti-Suzuki corporation, an Indian subsidiary of the Japanese Suzuki multinational corporation, who were arrested and charged in connection with the incidents that took place at this factory in 2012, in which a factory manager died, have just been tried in court. 117 of them were acquitted and 31 were convicted of various offenses, including 13 who were convicted of murder -- which in India is PUNISHABLE by DEATH OR LIFE IMPRISONMENT.
THE FINAL DECISION ON THE FORM OF PUNISHMENT WILL BE MADE ON MARCH 17.
Of the 13 convicted of murder -- convictions in which no evidence was produced to prove their guilt -- 11 were leaders of the MSWU, the independent union that was formed in Maruti and that management sought to break through violence.
There is not a moment to lose.
We must mobilise immediately to GET JUSTICE FOR ALL CONVICTED MARUTI WORKERS AND MORE PARTICULARLY TO save the 13!
In the best traditions of international working class solidarity, it is up to the workers' movement in each country to determine the forms they deem best to address the Indian authorities as soon as possible to demand:
SAVE THE LIVES OF THE MARUTI 13!
FREEDOM FOR ALL THE IMPRISONED WORKERS!
DROP ALL THE CHARGES!
On behalf of the International Workers Committee
Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers' International
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- Special Issue of the IWC Weekly Newsletter, which includes two statements from labor organizations in India regarding the recent verdict by the courts in India: (1) the statement by the Provisional Working Committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union titled, "Is There Any Justice Possible for Workers in this Country?" and (2) the Statement by the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI).
- Photo of Pardeep Gujjar (left) and Ram Niwas, two Maruti workers who are facing the death penalty or life imprisonment. Both addressed the delegates to the Mumbai Conference Against War, Exploitation and Precarious Labor on November 18-20, 2016, where this photo was taken. (Both spent four years in prison, and were released on bail, which is why they were able to address the Mumbai Conference.)
- Photo of the striking Maruti workers in 2012
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Please Endorse this Sign-On Open Letter to the Indian Ambassador to the United States
Mr. Navtej Sarna
Ambassador from India to the United States
2536 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Dear Ambassador Navtej Sarna,
We, the undersigned supporters of labor and democratic rights, write you this Open Letter to urge you and your government to take immediate action to save the lives of 13 trade unionists of the Maruti-Suzuki corporation, who were arrested and charged in connection with the incidents that took place at the company's Manesar factory in 2012, in which a factory manager died. As you most certainly are aware, the imprisoned Maruti workers have just been tried in court; 117 of them (who had already spent four years in prison) were acquitted, but 31 were convicted of various offenses, including 13 who were convicted of murder -- which, as you know, is punishable by death or life imprisonment. The sentencing is scheduled for Friday, March 15.
We have read the appeal from the Provisional Working Committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union and the March 10 statement by the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI). We agree fully that these workers have been convicted on trumped-up charges for their trade union activity. No evidence was provided to link any of these workers to the unfortunate death of a factory manager. Eleven of the 13 facing the most serious charges were leaders of the MSWU, the independent union that was formed in Maruti and that management sought to break through violence.
We urge you to relay to your government in India our call for justice for all the convicted Maruti workers, and more particularly for the 13 Maruti trade unionists, whose lives are in grave danger. We call upon you and your government to save their lives and to drop all the bogus charges against all those convicted unjustly. We call upon you and your government to free all the imprisoned Maruti workers.
[follows list of signatories]
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