10TH. February 2008, PSM and its front Organisation will be proclaiming another victory celebration. This time with the plantation workers from Brookland’s Estate, Banting who have finally signed their Sales and Purchase Agreements to their low-cost terrace houses after a 13 year of struggle!
Date of the victory celebration is as below:
Date: 10th February 2008
Time: 10.30 am
Venue: Field, Brooklands Estate, Banting, Selangor.
Since December 1995 the workers of Brooklands Estate have battled the corporate giant, Lion Group which owns the plantation, fighting for their rights to be given a house each at the plantation development project.
Lion Group which bought the plantation in 1992 had big plans to develop the land to reap huge profits. A giant steel Mill was strategically set up – MegaSteel and hence the oil mill workers were given eviction notices and asked to vacate their quarters.
The workers who have toiled the land for three generations with miserable wages stood
their ground and demanded their own house. In response, Lion Group cut off water and electricity supply to the workers’ quarters to intimidate them. Access roads were blocked. They lived in darkness and it takes nearly 8 km to reach the main road.
Then in 1996, in a show of true workers solidarity, more than 100 workers from the neighbouring plantation division joined the struggle. After many pickets, court battles, police reports, work stoppages, finally the corporate giant was brought to its knees.
In 1996 also, three activists A.Sivarajan, S.Arutchelvan and Ganesan was arrested for criminal trespass as they holding meetings with the workers in the estate. This prompted the estate workers to stage an immediate strike.
Under intense pressure, the Company and NUPW agreed that the workers are given low-cost flats in 1997 but the workers refused to accept this offer. The Company being adamant went on with the project to build the flats in 2001 but a total boycott from the workers finally resulted in the project being abandoned.
Finally then in 2006, Lion Group agreed to provide low-cost terrace housing for the workers in the plantation land itself. Despite its financial strength and the support of the state, the Lion was tamed by the worker’s united struggle. The struggle and the victory of the Brooklands workers once again demonstrate the power of the working class in fighting and winning. It put forward another class victory for the workers and will inspire further victories in other areas. This victory is definitely a victory of socialism over capitalism.
Thus, finally after a 13-year battle, workers signed their Sales & Purchase agreements to their new homes on the 15th January 2008. To celebrate this victory, we welcome comrades and friends to join the Brooklands Estate workers on this memorable day.
For more information please contact: Sivarajan – 016-6798005
The workers united will never be defeated!