New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India on Wednesday said its Japanese parent Suzuki Motor Corp has expressed concern and unhappiness over the ongoing labour problem at the Manesar plant.
“Suzuki has expressed concern over what is happening here and it is particularly unhappy that the workers have reneged on their agreement,” Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) chairman R C Bhargava told PTI here.
MSI is Suzuki Motor Corp’s biggest overseas arm and accounted for 11.33 lakh units out of the Japanese auto major’s total global sales of 26.42 lakh units in 2010-11.
Workers shout slogans as they sit on strike on 7 October 2011 at Suzuki’s Motor Corp’s Manesar plant in Haryana. Photo by PTI.
Asked about the steps the management is taking to resolve the issue, he said: “The ball is not in our court. We can only speak to them (workers) if they are ready. It is very difficult to talk to the workers right now as they have a very aggressive attitude.”
Stating that the workers have been influenced from outside, he said: “I hope better sense prevails.”
Bhargava said the situation inside the plant remains volatile, but “we have police presence for the security of our equipment inside the plant”.
The company has also spoken to the Haryana government to find an amicable solution to the issue, he added.
Workers at MSI’s Manesar plant went on a stay-in strike on Friday afternoon, completely affecting production at the plant. They are demanding the reinstatement of over 1,000 casual workers and 44 permanent employees that were suspended during the standoff that started on 29 August.
The number of workers that went on strike was around 2,000, including regular and contract employees, apprentices and trainees. The number, however, came down to about 1,500 after the company “rescued” some workers, who were being “held under duress”.
The company alleged that the striking workers attacked co-workers, supervisors and executives in multiple incidents of violence and damaged factory properties inside the plant.
The workers, however, denied any such acts and said they were “manhandled by company bouncers”.
On Sunday, MSI dismissed 10 workers, terminated five trainees and suspended 10 employees in connection “with the strike and violence at the Manesar factory premises”.
As per the agreement reached on 1 October, the company had agreed to conditionally take back 18 suspended trainees.
The workers, in turn, had agreed to sign the ‘good conduct bond´, which said they would “not resort to go-slow, intermittent stoppage of work, stay-in-strike, work-to-rule, sabotage or otherwise indulge in any activity which would hamper normal production at the factory”.