Maruti strike called off


The 13-day-long strike at Maruti Suzuki India Limited’s Manesar plant finally came to an end around midnight on Thursday after hectic negotiations between the management, striking workers and Haryana labour department officials.

Sources close to Maruti management said the company has agreed to reinstate the 11 workers whose services were terminated for instigating the strike. Further, the company has agreed to reduce the penalty in accordance with the ‘no-work-no-pay policy’ to three days from eight days.

The strike, which started on June 4, has resulted in a loss of Rs 420 crore or 12,600 units. Vendors have reportedly made losses of around Rs 30 crore per day taking the total revenue loss to Rs 720 crore. Maruti Suzuki manufactures SX4, Swift Dzire, A-Star and Swift at the Manesar facility.

On Wednesday evening, Managing Director Shinzo Nakanishi along with top officials of the company had met Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh who had assured them that the state government would not support the formation of a second union in the company.

The striking workers had been demanding recognition of a new union — Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU) — independent of the existing one that is dominated by workers of the Gurgaon plant.

The management had suggested a modification in the structure of the existing union. The company had agreed on establishment of individual bodies at the Manesar and Guragon facilities to deal with plant level issues.

Besides, they have proposed the formation of a governing council comprising workers’ representatives from both the plants to deal with corporate level issues like negotiating wages. However, the management made it clear they would not accept any union which had members from outside or with political affiliation.

Sources close to the negotiations informed on Monday evening four workers’ representatives had conceded to the management’s offer to set up a individual entity to monitor employees’ issues at the Manesar facility. However, they retracted on the agreement after consultation with other members.

On Tuesday, the management had even agreed to treat sympathetically the 11 workers who were sacked for instigating the strike at the facility. S Y Siddiqui, head of Human Resources, MSIL had said, “We have said that we would look at the issue of reinstatement of the eleven workers who were terminated sympathetically. But they have to face some disciplinary action. Also we were ready to reduce the penalty in the no work no pay policy from eight days to four days. After all we have lost more than Rs 400crore some disciplinary action has to be taken. But out first demand was they should come back to work immediately.”

The workers’ had been demanding that all 11 workers, whose services have been terminated, be reinstated without any disciplinary action on the part of the company.