Leftist organizations are protesting against the recently inaugurated Samsung unit at Noida claiming that promises made to the farmers whose lands were acquired for the project have not been fulfilled. Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), a trade union affiliated to the Communist Party of India, and Kisan Sabha, the peasants front of the Left, have led the protests against the plant which was also joined by the Akhil Bhartiya Gujjar Parishad, a caste-based party in Noida.
The protesters are claiming that not enough locals have been given jobs at the plant. “We have demanded that the local youth should be given jobs at factories set up in Noida and Greater Noida. Children of farmers whose lands have been acquired should also be given jobs. Multinational companies do not provide jobs to the local youth,” said Gangeshwar Dutt Sharma, a CITU representative. The protesters have also demanded a monthly minimum wage of Rs. 20,000.
The authorities, in response, have arrested over 70 ‘protesters’ with clear political motivations for holding a dharna outside the newly-inaugurated Samsung unit. 22 protesters were released on bail, however, 49 still remain behind bars. According to the authorities, those released were elderly farmers and youngsters. According to the POlice, the protesters were arrested for disruption of peace.
District magistrate BN Singh said, “I have spoken to the Samsung management and they have told us that a major chunk of the jobs has been given to local youth depending on their capability and education. In some instances, 100% contract work has been given to the local people. Moreover, none of the protesters works at Samsung. We should focus on ensuring that more and more multinational companies come to the district. The environment for conducive industrial development should not be disturbed with such agitations.”
The Samsung unit at Noida, which is the world’s largest mobile manufacturing unit, was inaugurated In July by Prime Minister Modi and is expected to generate employment for a lot of people.