Maruti to restart Manesar plant next week

August 16th, 2012 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Troubled automobile manufacturer Maruti Suzuki Thursday said that it will restart production at its violence-marred Manesar factory from Aug 21, 2012.

The company will initially produce just 150 cars daily with a strength of 300 workers some 34 days after violence erupted in the company’s plant in Manesar, which claimed the life of a senior official and caused injuries to 96 supervisors and managers.

The arson caused a loss of nearly Rs.10 crore, but production losses run into crores of rupees, as the plant was manufacturing nearly 1,700 vehicles per day. There are nearly 120,000 bookings alone for the company’s popular hatchback, Swift.

The plant has two production lines with an assembly capacity of 1,200-1,500 cars a day. The car maker will start both its plants A and B. Plant B currently makes the Swift car model.

“We have planned to have a phased production ramp-up in the coming days. Security and safety is the prime concern and we have taken steps to provide a safe working environment for our employees,” said R.C. Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki.

“We have plans to enroll casual workers as permanent workers in the company. Those casual workers found fit would be employed. At any time, 20 per cent of our overall workforce will be hired on short-term contracts depending on demand,” said Bhargava.

The auto major had employed 3,300 workers at the Manesar plant before violence erupted on July 18, 2012. Out of 3,300 employees, 1,528 were permanent and the rest 1,869 were contractual.

According to Bhargava, the company has sent notices to 500 odd workers including 154 who have been arrested for participating in the violence of July 18, 2012. The services of these 500 odd workers have been terminated.

“We have also sent notices terminating services of some 500 odd workers in whom the company has lost confidence. These workers have violated the terms of the good conduct bond that was signed by them last year. Some of these workers also have criminal charges against them.”

“More workers may be sacked, irrespective of permanent or casual category, if they are found to have taken part in violence. The Haryana government is currently probing the incident,” Bhargava added.

The company has also planned to have a contingent of 200 armed state policemen stationed at the factory, while another 300 armed police personnel will be stationed nearby.

Local police and nearly 100 guards from Maruti, including ex-servicemen, will be on vigil near the factory. As an extra precaution 40 police officers will accompany workers when they travel back from work.

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