Maruti restarts Manesar plant with 400 workers (Lead)

August 21st, 2012 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, Aug 21 (IANS) The country’s leading car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki restarted its Manesar plant, in Haryana, Tuesday with nearly 400 workers rejoining work, a company official said Tuesday.

“Nearly 400 workers were at work. More workers will join duties Wednesday,” said a company official, who did not wish to named.

Maruti’s top brass earlier announced that they would make 150 cars per day with 300 workers, but Tuesday they built only bodies for Swift and Swift Desire vehicles, and not complete cars.

The plant was shut down July 18 following violence between workers and company officials. The incident claimed the life of a senior official and led to injuries to 96 supervisors and managers as a section of workers allegedly also torched the factory.

All the 96 injured managers rejoined work Tuesday but went home after an hour as they were not well, a company source said.

Satbir Singh, state head of the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU), told IANS: “Our demands are the same: cancel termination orders of all 546 permanent workers and take back 1,869 contract labourers. We want a sitting or retired judge to conduct a probe. Police are still targeting innocent workers.”

The company said the arson during the July 18 incident caused a loss of nearly Rs.10 crore. Production losses ran into crores of rupees as the plant was manufacturing nearly 1,700 vehicles per day. There are nearly 120,000 bookings for the company’s popular hatchback, Swift.

The plant has two production lines with an assembly capacity of 1,200-1,700 cars a day. Work at both the lines has started, said a company official.

The auto major employed 3,300 workers at the Manesar plant. Of these, 1,528 were permanent and 1,869 were contractual.

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