Manesar labour stir spreads to Munjal Showa unit

Manesar labour stir spreads to Munjal Showa unit

New Delhi: At least 400 workers at the Manesar plant of component maker Munjal Showa Ltd struck work on Tuesday, in an indication that the labour unrest at Maruti Suzuki is spreading to other units in the industrial belt.

The employees are protesting the transfer of two workers to another plant of the company in Gurgaon. These workers were leading an agitation demanding regularization of casual workers and other welfare measures.

Company executives claimed the agitating workers at the nearby Maruti Suzuki plant were behind the strike.

“We would not call it a strike as there is no labour union at Munjal Showa. It is a fallout of whatever is happening at Maruti’s plant," said C.M. Midha, general manager (marketing), Munjal Showa. “The protesting workers from Maruti’s plant joined people here at our plant last evening."

Talks were on between the management and the workers.

“We have learnt that the company has agreed for a compromise. They have said that 30 workers will be confirmed over a three-month period," said D.L. Sachdev, secretary of the All-India Trade Union Congress, which is supporting the protest.

There are “around 300-400 casual workers demanding a permanent job. You cannot make all of them permanent overnight. We have been talking to them. We hope to resolve the issue very soon," said Midha. Munjal Showa is a joint venture company for component manufacturing between New Delhi-based Hero Group and Showa Corp. of Japan.

The company is a leading manufacturer of shock absorbers and struts for two-wheelers and four-wheelers in India. It has three factories, one each in Manesar, Gurgaon and Haridwar. Munjal-Showa employs 1,500 workers at its Manesar plant and produces 70,000 units a day. Midha said production halved on Tuesday because of the strike.

Hero MotoCorp Ltd and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd, the country’s leading two-wheeler makers and which source components from Munjal Showa, said there was no immediate impact of the strike on their operations.

“The unrest is likely to spread to non-auto units as well," said Pravin Sinha, a labour relations expert. “These are issues related to collective bargaining and the companies have to respect the agents of collective bargaining."

Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki has dismissed five more workers at its Manesar plant on disciplinary grounds.

“Five workers were dismissed on charges of attack on three supervisors and a worker last Friday," the company said in a statement on Tuesday. It added that it has filed a report with the police against the dismissed workers.

Since the latest stand-off began on 29 August at the Manesar plant, Maruti Suzuki has dismissed 10 workers, suspended 26 and discontinued the services of 18 trainees on disciplinary grounds.

Shally Seth Mohile in Mumbai contributed to this story.