ml_update_taxonomy: Vol. 19, No. 02

Free the PRICOL Eight ! Fight the Double Life Imprisonment for Eight Trade Union Activists !

Pricol 8 Solidarity Campaign Eight leading activists of Kovai Maavatta Pricol Thozhilalargal Otrumai Sangam (Comrades Gunabalan, Manivannan, Rajendran, Ramamurthy, Sampathkumar, Saravanakumar, Sivakumar, and Velmurugan) have recently been sentenced to double life imprisonment by a Coimbatore trial court in connection with the unfortunate death of an HR executive of Pricol in September 2009. The Pricol Management had in fact charged as many as 27 workers and leaders, including women workers and AICCTU President Com. S Kumarasami with murder and conspiracy, but the rest were acquitted by the court. This is by far the harshest instance of an anti-worker anti-union judgement in recent times where workers and leaders have been framed and convicted without any evidence. The Pricol conviction can be compared to the TADA sentence given in Bihar in 2003 to Comrade Shah Chand and thirteen other activists of the rural poor movement and to the host of recent attacks on trade union rights in Gurgaon, Noida, Mumbai, Pune and other industrial centres. The Pricol workers’ movement led by AICCTU has however successfully resisted every offensive of the management and the state and gone from strength to strength uniting the broad masses of factory workers and securing considerable pay increase in successive wage agreements. The present judgement is aimed at crushing the morale of the workers, but the workers are valiantly fighting back against this repressive onslaught. This issue of...

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