The kiss of death: Stalinists seek to tie Tamil Nadu auto strikes to right-wing parties
10 November 2018
Three thousand workers from the Yamaha India and Royal Enfield motor-cycle manufacturing plants, and the auto-parts manufacturer Myoung Shin India Automotive (MSI) have been on strike in Oragadam—an industrial hub on the outskirts of Tamil Nadu’s capital Chennai—for more than six weeks.
In the face of violent police attacks, mass arrests, and pro-employer rulings from the courts, the workers are waging a determined struggle. They are fighting for improved working conditions, higher wages, the reinstatement of workers victimized by Yamaha for taking the initiative in forming a union, and recognition at all three plants of newly-organized unions affiliated with the Center of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).
The CITU is aligned with and controlled by India’s main Stalinist parliamentary party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM.
The Tamil Nadu autoworker strikes are part of a growing wave of workers’ struggles in India and internationally, and have immediately come up against the anti-worker nexus that unites the employers, the government, police and courts.
However, the Stalinist CITU leaders are doing everything to isolate the strikes in Oragadam. Although the courts and police have acted in unison to bar the strikers from picketing the strike-bound plants, the CITU has done nothing to mobilize the other workers that it represents in Oragadam, a vast auto-making hub, let alone across Tamil Nadu and India, in support of the striking Yamaha, Royal Enfield, and MSI workers.
And it has opposed the strikers raising demands on behalf of, or otherwise making a class appeal to, the contract workers the companies are using to continue production…