In India exploited workers have taken their rage out on the man who owned the company they worked for. Workers broken into the home of the company president and beat him to death with led pipes after violence was inflicted on their union leader. K. C. Chandrashekhar was killed in the city of Yanam, a small city in Andra Pradesh state. There has been a great deal of hostility between Chandrashekhar and the union of the workers for Regency Ceramics.
The violence finally hit a fervour pitch last Thursday when their union leader M. Murali Mohan was killed. The workers had been in contest with the factory owners fighting to increase their pay to a livable level and to have people laid off in October rehired. For his efforts to increase the ability of workers to survive, he was fired. The next morning at 06:00, he returned with some workers to obstruct the staring shift. The management called the police to break up the demonstration. Riot police moved in and began attacking workers with what are known as “lathis” in India. Essentially long batons. 20 people were injured including Murali who died on the way to the hospital.
In protest hundreds of the factory’s workers went to the local police station and demanded that the officers who attacked them be charged with homicide. Workers also are accused of returning to the factory and destroying 50 company vehicles including buses and trucks, setting them on fire.
Since the death of the company president, the police have put the city on a curfew and other civil orders with the express purpose of passivising the population. Workers have been injured by police action since then leading to 8 more injured, 2 of them in critical condition.
While the death of a company president at the hands of his workers is a major event, violence against worker’s in India is not. Almost daily there are incidents of violence being used against people who make less than a livable wage. The contradictions of capitalism have become much more acute as the country has become much more capitalist. As the gap between the poor and the rich keep growing in India, leading to lover and lower living standards, labour violence will certainly increase.