The Annual General Body Meeting of Voltas’ shareholders was held in Mumbai on August 19th. Normally, in such a meeting, the management presents the report of the previous year’s performance of the company and the outlook for the coming year. The agenda in these meetings is a single point agenda - accounting of the profit for appropriation in private hands, in consonance with the motive of the capitalists to make maximum profits. However, the workers of Voltas changed the atmosphere of the 19th August AGM.
It is reported that the workers had been sitting on a demonstration for more than 600 days. Voltas is one of the group companies of the big Indian capitalist group - Tata, and has been recording huge amounts of profits every year. But the just demands of the workers who have been in struggle, have been ignored.
The workers had decided to make their voices heard at the 19th August AGM and had made their preparations for the same. Kamgaar Ekta Committee fully supported the workers. Since only shareholders are allowed to attend the AGM, several workers had bought the company’s shares. They arrived at the venue of the AGM at the appointed time. The police tried to prevent the workers from entering the hall when they arrived there wearing red caps. However. all the workers who were present there, took up the issue militantly and resolutely with the management. Ultimately, the police had to allow them to enter the hall.
It was to prevent the workers from exposing the management (i.e., speaking the truth) at the AGM, that the company had obtained a court order to bar the workers from entering the hall, but they could not stop the workers from presenting the facts.
Speaking at the venue, Comrade Kapde of the Kamgaar Ekta Committee, said that if the management took it upon themselves to guard the “honour” of the company, it was the workers who were the life of the company, and what is honour without life. Comrade Rath asked why the company could not meet the demands of the workers or afford to pay them a bonus, a pittance for the company making such huge profits! The workers displayed great courage in challenging the City Civil Court’s orders when they wore their red caps and presented their case at the AGM. Faced with such a situation, the Chairman of Voltas Ltd., Isht Hussain, was forced to declare that the company would try to resolve the concerns of the workers at the earliest.