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Archive for February 17th, 2012

Feeling like a slumdog millionaire: Gujarati textile workers strike, organize

Posted by redpines on February 17, 2012

Working folks are rising across India. Labor unrest and workers’ struggles have exploded all over the country, parallel to the intensification of adivasi tribal people’s movements and battles for popular self-determination from Kashmir in the northwest to Manipur in the northeast. Amidst this wave, activists have published a report on a strike at a massive textile factory in Ahmedabad, the largest city in Gujarat (a province of over 60 million people in western India). The document shines a light on the working conditions in India’s burgeoning industrial sector and the autonomous struggle that has bursted out among the Reliance textile workers at the Naroda plant. Those familiar
with the contemporary labor situation in places like the United States or Europe may feel a certain sense of deja vu reading about the use of temporary workers, the management-friendly unions, and even the ban on carrying mobile phones at work.

Since February 2nd of this year, the 5,000 Reliance Textile Industries workers have been on strike. They have formed a new, independent union and published a list of demands, which are reprinted here. Thanks to Sanhati for publishing this report. [Introduction by Joe]

Gujarat – A Report on the Workers’ Strike in Reliance Textile Industries, Naroda plant, Ahmedabad

February 8, 2012

[The report was received from activists who recently visited the striking workers at the Reliance plant. – Ed]

Highly exploitative wage structure and abysmal working conditions have led the over 5000 workers to strike work in the primary manufacturing plant of Reliance Textile Industries in Naroda, Gujarat, which is at a halt since 2nd February 2012. While the company posted its highest ever turnover of over USD 44 billion and its net profit increased to USD 3.6 billion, workers in the factory (‘dressing up India’ with ‘fabrics which make you feel like a millionaire’ its website says) which started this empire’s journey find their lives getting cheaper by the day. Read the rest of this entry »

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