Day 13 of Maruti workers strike

June 16th, 2011 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) The strike at Maruti Suzuki’s plant in Manesar town of Haryana continued for the 13th day Thursday as talks between the workers and management failed to resolve the deadlock over the creation of a second workers’ union.

“Talks are on. We are engaged in constructive discussion with the workers. We have proposed certain new initiatives from our side which we expect should break the deadlock,” a senior Maruti Suzuki official told IANS.

The production halt at the Manesar plant has cost the automobile major a volume loss of around 12,600 cars, including 600 units on the first day of strike June 4, according to the official.

“We have suffered a production loss of 12,600 units. The car models which are affected include Swift, Swift Dzire, A-Star and SX4,” the official said.

The total loss has been pegged at around Rs.380 crore.

“We want an immediate end to the strike so that production can be restarted,” the official said, adding that the company was looking at several ways to placate the agitating workers.

Earlier, the Maruti Suzuki management said it was willing to form a new union for the Manesar unit on condition that the new entity will not be affiliated to any outside body of workers.

The striking workers have rejected the management’s proposals and said the strike would continue until the separate union was formed.

“The strike won’t be called off. We want a separate union. We want it now,” a senior representative of the strikers said from Manesar.

According to him, the halt in production, which has cost Maruti a volume loss of over 12,000 cars in 13 days, will only be called off if all their demands, including the reinstatement of 11 sacked employees, are met.

“We have received all types of assurances but they count for nothing until they are transformed into action,” the workers’ representative said.

Maruti’s facility at Manesar produces its bestseller hatchbacks and sedans like the Swift, Swift Dzire, A-Star and SX4.

Majority of the automobile giant’s production takes place at its remaining three plants in Gurgaon, a satellite town of the national capital.

The Japanese automobile giant Suzuki Motor Corporation-promoted company has the largest chunk of the Indian domestic car market with sales of 12,71,005 vehicles during fiscal 2010-11, including the export of 138,266 units.

Meanwhile, grave apprehension was expressed by other automobile companies who have their production facilities in Manesar, after the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) said the strike could spread with the other automobile companies’ unions deciding to go on a one-day fast June 17 and a production halt of two hours June 20.

“We, in solidarity with our Maruti Suzuki workers, will go on a fast June 17 and will stop work for two hours June 20 if the demands of a separate union and reinstatement of 11 sacked employees are not met,” AITUC general secretary Anil Kumar said.

According to him, while the workers will show up for work June 17 they will observe a fast. On June 20, they will halt production for two hours in majority of manufacturing plants located in Haryana’s industrial clusters of Gurgaon, Rewari, Dharuhera and Manesar.

“All over the place from Gurgaon, Rewari, Dharuhera and Manesar, workers have given their consent to go on the fast and tool-down. Over 20,000 workers are with us,” Kumar said.

Major automobile companies, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and component industry, have their manufacturing plants in these locations of Haryana. Among them are Hero Honda and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India.

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