Labour unrest is not new to Gurgaon’s industrial belt. Bloody clashes between the police and Honda workers in 2005, a long strike at the Maruti factory last year that crippled production and Friday’s rampage after a worker fell to his death from an under-construction building — the Millennium City’s has seen it all.
Industrialists feel such incidents affect the global image of Gurgaon as a corporate city.
Raj Singla, convener of micro small and medium enterprises (MSME), confederation of Haryana, said, "I do not see any unrest in these fights of labourers. But these incidents affect the industries' production badly and create an unhealthy atmosphere."
But the police are not convinced. Police commissioner KK Sindhu said these were stray incidents instigated by anti-social elements. “Some criminal minded people are fueling such incidents to meet their vested interests. Those clashing with the police are not genuine workers.”
A huge influx of migrant labourers in Haryana factories and recruitment under the contractual system are being assumed as possible reasons of unrest among workers who vent their ire the moment they encounter unfavourable circumstances that may or may not be directly related to their personal grievances.
“It is not uncommon that labourers often complain against contractors for not paying salaries on time or for other benefits. We try our best to keep the contractors under control,” said JN Mangla, vice president, Laghu Udyog Bharti, Haryana.
The recent fight between two groups of labourers in Orient Craft at Sector 37 reveals the resentment among workers against contractors. The labour department and industrialists, however, are not ready to agree this argument openly though off the record they admit to contactors’ strained relations with workers.
Deputy labour commissioner JP Maan said: “All these unrests are not at all identical. These incidents were results of sudden occurrences. We do not think these labourers are doing with some vested interest,” said Maan.