Maruti Suzuki is the largest car and motorcycle manufacturer in India, holding over 50% of the Indian passenger car market. The Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) is the trade union of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Manesar, a plant of the company just outside of New Delhi. Over the last decade, they have been fighting for wages, pensions, initiatives and most importantly, for the egalitarian treatment and dignity of their laborers.
The main goal, as established by the charter during the formation of the union, was to regularize contract workers. It was a joined struggle of permanent and contract workers (which is not common), and they agreed to fight hard for their equal treatment.
Other goals they were fighting for were for:
- Competitive wages
- Better work hours
- Education for children
- Improved facilities (there was only one small cafe for 5000 people)
The major oppositional forces, as in most labor struggles in India, were the police and the government. The police conducted raids in nearby villages after the fire and continued to harass people and their families. The government is supporting the company and although the promise of a fair trial exists in theory, the company had one of the best supreme court lawyers defending their case. There is constant intervention in the strikes and people are threatened or paid off extremely frequently.