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One killed in clash at Maruti’s Manesar plant

One killed in clash at Maruti’s Manesar plant

New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India Ltd’s Manesar plant ground to an abrupt halt on Wednesday evening amid clashes between workers and management over pay revision and other demands, leaving one person dead and several injured on both sides, and raising the prospect of another spell of labour trouble after protests disrupted output last year. India’s largest car maker also accused workers of setting fire to property.

“Production was stopped at the plant around" 7 pm, said a company official on Wednesday on condition of anonymity. “There was a fight between the workers and the plant management. The issue is about wage revision."

The clashes have left several workers injured, said Sandeep Dhillon, chief patron of Maruti’s Manesar union. He confirmed that production had been halted.

“At least 40 managers and executives are injured," Maruti said in a release.

The company said the trouble began with a worker “beating up a supervisor on the shop floor". The row escalated and workers “blocked the exit gates and held the executives hostage", Maruti said. The Gurgaon plant functioned normally, the company said.

Mint reported on 23 April that the union had sent a notice asking for a doubling of salary and enhanced transport facilities among other demands.

A permanent worker gets a salary of 17,000 per month, while a casual worker gets 7,000. The plant has around 3,000 workers, of whom 900 are permanent.

Last year, Maruti’s production was disrupted by a series of strikes at the same plant, which caused a revenue loss of 2,500 crore to the company. Workers had similar demands at the time.

The strike at the Manesar plant had been called off following a tripartite agreement involving the management, workers and the state government of Haryana, where the company is based. It later emerged that 30 workers, who had been the strike’s main leaders, were paid by the management to quit the company. The workers received a combined 4.2-4.8 crore, Mint reported on 8 November.

amrit.r@livemint.com

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