A solution in sight for Maruti as Haryana CM intervenes

A solution in sight for Maruti as Haryana CM intervenes

New Delhi: The prospect of reaching a solution brightened at the automobile major Maruti-Suzuki India’s Manesar unit after tool-down strike in over 50 other factories started early Tuesday, triggering Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s intervention.

Chief minister Hooda called for 24-hours time, following which the two-hour tools-down strike was called off within 45 minutes by labour unions in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt, said D.L. Sachdeva, secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).

AITUC is spearheading the 11-day long agitation at the Maruti-Suzuki’s Manesar unit. The management believes that the strike has resulted in a loss of at least Rs.450 crore. The other workers’ unions had started the 2-hours long protest in their respective factories to express solidarity with the Maruti employees.

Monday, a tripartite meeting between the government, MSI management and striking workers failed as the company refused to accept any new union at the plant.

“It is very unfortunate that the company is retracting its own statement. Just a day after it had said that it was willing to consider separate local unions at each plant, the management simply refused to accept any new union and asked us to be a part of the existing union," the newly formed Maruti Suzuki Employees Union’s general secretary Shiv Kumar said.

MSI managing executive officer (administration) S Y Siddiqui had Monday ruled out compromising on having a non-affiliated union at the Manesar plant.

Currently the company has one recognised union — Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union — which is dominated by workers at the Gurgaon plant.

The striking workers are demanding the recognition of a new union — Maruti Suzuki Employees Union — formed by those working at the Manesar plant, among other things.

Cracking the whip, the company fired 11 workers last week for allegedly inciting others to go on strike.

On Sunday, however, the company said it was willing to recognise the new union — the main demand of the workers.

The workers also said they are willing to end the stir provided 11 of their sacked colleagues are reinstated.

Around 2,000 workers at the plant have been on strike since 4 June, resulting in a loss of about 450 crore for 9,000 units till Monday.

Earlier, CPI leader and Member of Parliament Gurudas Dasgupta had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene and find an amicable solution to the impasse.

Dasgupta had met Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda thrice to end the strike at MSI’s plant.

The Manesar plant rolls out about 1,200 units every day in two shifts.

The factory produces hatchbacks Swift and A-Star and sedans DZiRE and SX4.