Manesar labour problem a political issue, no compromise: Maruti

Manesar labour problem a political issue, no compromise: Maruti

New Delhi: With the stand-off between the management and workers at its Manesar plant continuing for the 11th day, car maker Maruti Suzuki India on Thursday termed the labour problem as a “political issue" and said it will not compromise on its established norms for industrial relations.

The second tripartite meeting in as many days between the management, workers and state labour department officials remained inconclusive today.

Meanwhile, the company shifted production of its one of the best selling cars Swift from Manesar plant to Gurgaon unit and rolled out 90 units.

“My understanding is that the Manesar labour problem is essentially a political issue and not a problem which involves any significant demand from the workers," Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) chairman R C Bhargava said at the company’s 30th Annual General Meeting here.

Since it is a political problem, its resolution will be based on Maruti’s established principles for industrial relations, he added.

“We do not intend to compromise on that. We have been talking to the workers and we have made it clear to them that we will not compromise," Bhargava said.

The company management had earlier refused to recognise a new union - Maruti Suzuki Employees Union-- at the Manesar plant that lead to a 13-day-long strike at the plant in June.

The workers’ demand for recognition of the union at the plant had got support from left wing trade unions such as All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and Hind Mazdoor Sabha during the strike, which MSI management did not approve of.

Bhargava, however, said MSI expected to sort out the ongoing issue at the earliest possible.

Production has been severely hit at the first plant in Manesar since 29 August when the management prevented workers from entering the unit without signing a ‘good conduct bond´ after alleged “sabotage" and deliberate quality compromise on cars.

The workers, however, said the management was taking the steps in “revenge" for a 13-day strike in June demanding the recognition of a new union -- the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU) -- at the plant located in Haryana.

Meanwhile, a tripartite meeting failed to bring out any solution to the impasse and workers have now urged the Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to intervene to end the 11-day deadlock.

“For the last two days, we have come to the labour department’s office to discuss the issues. However, there is no solution as no people from the company who can take decisions came to attend the meetings. Only some junior-level officials have come," a worker said.