Omax, Automax and Speedomax are three plants which supply auto parts and provide services to companies like Maruti Suzuki and Honda. They are under one ownership and have 6 units in the Gurgaon area and 10 units across the entire country. For the past six months, the Automax management had been shifting machines to the Omax plant in Bawal. The Automax plant has several divisions.
When around 300 Automax workers reached the factory gate of Automax on 26th June, 2017, they saw a notice on the gate that announced the plant’s closure. The workers who had worked in the company for over 2 decades found themselves overnight without their job. The management had given no prior notice to the workers or their union and in blatant violation of the increasingly defunct labour laws, closed the factory. Though the closure has been announced and all the permanent workers are outside the factory, the railway division in the factory is still operating and new workers have been hired to work there. Earlier, in May, the company had fired over 150 contract workers citing lack of demand.
The workers gathered on the gate, protested and demanded to see the legal documents related to the closure. In response, the management called the police who attacked the workers.
Even as the machine parts are being shifted to the Omax unit in Bawal, there are no permanent workers there at all. 389 contract workers of OMAX, most of whom had toiled and worked between 15 and 20 years in the factory, were laid off without any notice in February 2017. The police force, led by local SHO, is giving protection to the shifting process. The local administration and labour department are clearly in the pocket of the Management as they have kept complete silence on the closure of the Automax plant.
Earlier, the workers had been successful in achieving some facilities and raising salary of workers to some extent through their union formed in 2010. They are trying to resist this latest attack on their right to livelihood and under the leadership of their union, are continuing to protest near the factory gate since 26th June. The protest is going on day and night for the last 24 days.