On March 16th the National Lawyers Guild International sent a letter to the Indian Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Navtej Sarana urging the Indian government to take immediate action to save the lives of 13 Auto Workers from the Maruti Suzuki Factory.
“We urge you 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 17.
We have read the appeal from the Provisional Working Committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union and 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.”