Maruti strike spreads to other automobile plants (Second lead)

June 15th, 2011 - 11:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) The 12-day-long strike at Maruti Suzuki’s plant in Haryana’s Manesar town Wednesday spread to other automobile manufacturing plants with their unions deciding to go on fast June 17 and a production halt of two hours on June 20.

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

According to Kumar, while the workers will show up for work June 17 they will be observe a fast, and 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.

The decision of workers and unions came after the Maruti Suzuki management Tuesday 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.

“We are engaged in a constructive discussion with the workers and are ready to resolve the issue,” a senior Maruti Suzuki official told IANS.

According to the official, the production halt at the Manesar plant has cost the automobile major a volume loss of around 11,400 cars, including 600 units on the first day of the strike June 4.

“We have suffered a production loss of 11,400 units since the start of the strike. 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.340 crore.

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

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

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

Maruti Suzuki 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.

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