Maruti workers’ strike continues, talks fail (Lead, correcting figure in paras four, six)

June 11th, 2011 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) The strike at Maruti Suzuki’s plant in Manesar town of Haryana continued for the eighth day Saturday as talks between the workers and management failed to resolve the deadlock over the creation of a second workers’ union.

“Our stand is clear. The strike is illegal. Even the Haryana government and the labour commission have said the same,” Maruti Suzuki India chairman R.C. Bhargava told IANS.

He added that no intimation or notice was given to the management, which makes the strike illegal in nature.

According to him, the company has suffered a production volume loss of around 7,800 cars till Saturday, including 600 units on the first day of the strike June 4.

The total loss has been pegged at around Rs.240 crore.

“Our losses are currently pegged at around 7,800 cars since last Saturday,” said another senior Maruti Suzuki official.

Bhargava added that the halt in production will have a short-term impact.

“Currently, dealers have enough stock for some 28 days of petrol-segment cars, while a short-term effect may be felt for some diesel variants, which in itself is only 20 percent of our entire portfolio,” he said.

The company’s facility at Manesar produces the company’s 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 district.

According to the company, the strike has the support of around 2,000-odd workers, of whom 11 were sacked Monday for demanding recognition of a separate workers’ union.

Earlier, the management drew support from the Haryana government which on Friday banned the ongoing strike at the Manesar plant.

“The Haryana government has, under the provisions of the Industrial Depute Act, 1947, referred the matter of ongoing strike in Maruti Suzuki Udyog Ltd, Manesar, by the workers to the competent labour court and has also passed the orders prohibiting the continuance of the strike in the industrial unit,” Minister of State for Labour and Employment Shiv Charan Lal Sharma said in a statement.

Members of other workers’ unions supporting the agitation of Maruti Suzuki workers told IANS Saturday that the Punjab and Haryana High Court may be approached soon, as forming a union was a legal right of workers.

“It is our right to form a union. About 40 local unions have joined us. We are going to conduct a meeting with all of them to decide the future course of action, which includes approaching the high court,” said Anil Kumar, general secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).

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