Statement by National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)/09.07.2021
- Condemn the arbitrary arrest of workers of the Century Workers Union as well as activists Medha Patkar, Jagdish Khairalia and others : Call Maharashtra Police to Free All Arrested
- State & Company Management must Dialogue with Workers and Withdraw the forced VRS policy: Uphold Right to Livelihoods of Workers
9th July, 2021: NAPM condemns the arbitrary manner in which protesting workers of Century Mill, Khargone have been arrested outside the headquarters of the Century Mill at Birla Bhavan, Mumbai. It is well known that for more than 44 months, thousands of workers of Century have been fighting the anti-worker policies of the management and organizing peacefully, both before and during the pandemic.
With a recent unlawful decision of the company to force VRS (voluntary retirement) on more than 1,000 workers, many of them reached the company headquarters in Mumbai today to challenge the ‘VRS Notice’. However, within a short span, they were arrested. Those arrested also include many women as well as workers leaders Shyam Badhane, Sanjay Chauhan, Hemant Gosavi as well as Medha Patkar (National Convenor, NAPM) and Jagdish Khairalia (Secretary, Shramik Janta Sangh).
All of them have been taken to Dadar police station at Bhavani Shankar Road. It is indeed atrocious that while on the one hand the administration cites ‘covid norms’ and does not permit any protest, on the other, dozens of workers and many women were literally shoved into the same police van a while back, violating all Covid protocol!
Meanwhile, activist Medha Patkar has also started indefinite fast against unlawful VRS imposed on workers by Century management and inhuman treatment by Maharashtra police.
We appeal to all democratic minded citizens and groups to stand in solidarity with the struggle of the Century workers. Please call the Mumbai Police Commissioner at 022-22620826 and 022-22613552 to free all the arrested protestors immediately.
DEMAND THAT THE STATE AND MANAGEMENT MUST DIALOGUE WITH WORKERS AND WITHDRAW THE FORCED VRS POLICY: UPHOLD RIGHT TO LIVELIHOODS OF WORKERS! LONG LIVE STRUGGLES OF WORKERS!