Maruti strike continues for sixth day, production hit

October 12th, 2011 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) The strike at the country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant in Haryana continued for the sixth day Wednesday, with workers at its component factory in Gurgaon also joining the stir as a show of solidarity.

“The situation still remains the same. No production is taking place there (Manesar). Currently we can not comment on how long the situation would persist,” a company official here told IANS.

According to the official, the production at Manesar facility, which rolls out 1,200 units per day of some of the company’s best-seller cars like Swift, SX4 and A-Star, has been stopped completely.

Workers at the component factory of the company — Suzuki Powertrain India Limited in Gurgaon, which supplies diesel engines and transmission to Maruti cars — too joined the stir to express solidarity with striking workers at the Manesar plant.

“The production (at Gurgaon plant) is also badly affected as key components are not being manufactured and supplied from Suzuki Powertrain,” the official said.

On Wednesday, the company said it was able to produce around 600 units at the Gurgaon plant as compared to average output of 2,800 units per day. On Tuesday, the company produced only 1,000 units at the same plant.

Work was also halted at the other two company factories in Haryana — Suzuki Motorcycle India and Suzuki Castings.

The automobile major said the workers at Manesar, who went on strike Friday and then seized control of the factory Monday, were still in control of the plant.

“They are still there. They should understand the legal implications it will have on them,” the official added.

Workers at the plant went on strike Friday demanding reinstatement of 44 suspended co-workers, who were not taken back after an earlier 33-day impasse with the management ended Oct 1.

Of the 2,000 workers who went on strike Oct 7, who were from all categories — regular, contractual, apprentices and trainees — 500 were allegedly forced to join the stir by the other workers. They were later rescued with the help of the police and they resumed work.

On Sunday, Maruti Suzuki had dismissed 10 workers, terminated five trainees and suspended 10 employees for having indulged in violence at the Manesar factory.

The strike at the Manesar plant comes within a week after workers agreed to sign a ‘good conduct bond’.

The strike could not come at a more crucial time for the car manufacturer as it is the festive season, which typically generates huge demand — something the automobile giant is in need of given the sluggish sales witnessed in recent months.

According to some estimates, the company has suffered losses worth around Rs.1,500 crore as a result of series of strikes at the plant which started from June 2011.

The production losses stand at around 51,000 units, with an excise loss of Rs.350 crore to the federal government and around Rs.40 crore revenue losses to the Haryana government.

Even the component suppliers of the auto giant are a worried lot and have sought the Haryana government’s intervention to resolve the impasse.

“The labour problem at Maruti’s plant has severely impacted ancillary units and vendors which are supplying auto parts to the company,” said Gurgaon Udyog Association president Parveen Yadav.

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