Talks fail, Maruti strike enters 10th day

June 13th, 2011 - 3:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) The strike at Maruti Suzuki’s plant at Manesar in Haryana continued for the 10th day Monday as talks between workers and management failed to resolve the deadlock over the creation of a second workers’ union.

“The strike is still on, even after it was banned and termed illegal by the Haryana government. But we are still engaged in talks and ready to discuss all issues,” a senior Maruti Suzuki official told IANS.

According to the official, the production halt will cost the company a volume loss of around 9,000 cars, including 600 units on the first day of the strike June 4.

The total loss has been pegged at around Rs.280 crore (over $65 million).

Maruti Suzuki India Chairman R.C. Bhargava told IANS: “Our stand is clear. The strike is illegal. Even the Haryana government and the labour commission have said the same. Still we will continue to talk.”

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

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

“Currently, dealers have enough stock of petrol-segment cars for some 28 days, 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 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 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 Friday banned the strike.

Members of other workers’ unions supporting the agitation said the Punjab and Haryana High Court may be approached soon, as forming a union was a legitimate 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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