: Bellsonica Workers Protest In One Of The Largest Autoplants In Manesar, Haryana #IndiaNEWSAll #Labour Bellsonica Employees’ Union held a protest followed by a press conference at Delhis Jantar Mantar
Bellsonica Workers Protest In One Of The Largest Autoplants In Manesar, Haryana #IndiaNEWSAll #Labour
Bellsonica Employees’ Union held a protest followed by a press conference at Delhis Jantar Mantar on Saturday. They were protesting against the factory management’s targeted efforts to disband the union and cut down on permanent staff.
Bellsonica Auto Components Private Limited is a Gurgaon-based subsidiary to Bellsonica Corporation, a Japanese multinational company. It is a first-tier vendor for major companies like Maruti Suzuki in the auto sector and employs approximately 700 permanent workers and 1,600 contractual staff.
The management has been steadily cutting down permanent staff and weakening the union since 2021. Over the past month alone, the management has issued four chargesheets, suspended thirteen permanent workers overall, three of whom are leaders in the union, and sacked three contractual workers who were seeking to unionise. The company also deployed a large number of police forces and bouncers within the factory to intimidate workers.
Chargesheets against Workers over “fake documents”
In July 2021, the management filed chargesheets against 22 workers accusing them of using forged documents to secure permanent jobs. The Bellsonica union responded with legal action and protests, submitting dozens of memos to the DC and management. In a press conference held on Saturday at Jantar Mantar, Union Secretary Ajit Singh claimed that they repeatedly asked the management to provide advertisements, official documents or verifications stating that an applicant must have certain qualifications for the job. The management themselves admitted that the company does not have any official policy criteria for education level, and during the recruitment process, they accept self-declarations from the applicants.
The 22 workers had served the company for over 10 years and produced lakhs of cars. Similar patterns can be seen in Maruti and Bajaj factories. Company management’s across Gurgaon have begun a uniform campaign of fabricating chargesheets against permanent workers as an excuse to retrench them. Singh claimed that the Japanese MD, who sits in the Bellsonica factory, himself stated that he had no other option but to cut down the permanent workforce. Since then, the pattern of issuing chargesheets to permanent workers has continued.
On March 1, 2023, the Union held a six-hour tools-down protest demanding that chargesheets be revoked.
Union Membership to Contractual Worker
Singh highlighted that contractual staff who supported the union or spoke on labour issues were coerced into voluntary retirement (VRS) in August 2021 when the union gave membership to a contractual worker who worked at the factory. They cited Article 19 of the constitution, as well as the Trade Union Act, 1926, which does not specify anywhere that contractual workers cannot unionise.