The New Trade Union Initiative strongly deplores the actions of the Gujarat Police who locked up eight workers of the National Bearing Company (NBC) at Savli, Vadodara and their leadership including Ashim Roy the President of the Chemical Mazdoor Panchayat and formerly the General Secretary of the NTUI on the night of Friday 18 September 2020. The police action occurred after three workers demanded being reinstated following their questioning the employer on health and safety concerns arising out of the corona virus. All held in police custody were released the following day on the orders of Sub Divisional Magistrate as a result of widespread action of workers throughout the locality.
We have learnt that the police were acting on the instructions of local BJP leadership that increasingly sees the emergence of a democratic trade union as an obstruction to their continued political domination in area and in the state at large. It also confirms the close relationship that exists between the BJP, its governments and big business.
The use of the coercive arm of state reflects a clear and direct attack on the right of workers right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. This is a clear effort to spell fear and intimidate workers into inaction.
The NTUI stands in solidarity with the workers of NBC and their trade union.
N. Vasudevan Gautam Mody
President General Secretary
20 September 2020