Maruti to continue investment in Haryana: CEO


Maruti Suzuki today said it is committed to operations in Haryana and will not cut back any planned investment in the state, although the Manesar plant would function under security cover for the time being due to unprecedented violence there last month.

Addressing shareholders at the 31st Annual General Meeting, which started after observing a minute's silence in memory of slain General Manager (Human Resources) Awanish Kumar Dev, Maruti Suzuki India Chairman R C Bhargava said that security cover at Manesar plant will continue till its staff feels secure.

"Manesar plant violence was pre-meditated. It was unprecedented, not only in the history of MSI, but also in the industrial relations history of India," Bhargava said.

The visiting Chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation, Maruti Suzuki's Japanese parent, Osamu Suzuki has met Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and requested him to find the actual cause of the violence at Manesar, and Hooda has promised to do so, he added.

"Suzuki is supportive of Maruti and we will continue operations in Manesar, [there will be] no cut back in planned investments," Bhargava said.

Talking about the ongoing heavy security at the Manesar facility that is being provided by the state police and Maruti Suzuki-appointed private guards, he said it will continue till its employees at the unit feel so.

"We will continue to have security at the Manesar plant till the time our people feel secure and think that it can be done away with it," Bhargava said.

On restoration of normal productions at the violence-hit plant, he said Maruti Suzuki is hopeful of doing so in a short period of time as the process of increasing worker strength is on.

Before the incident, the total workers at the plant were around 3,300. Of these, 1,528 were permanent.

"We do hope to restore full production in a reasonably short period of time. 700 workers have reported so far, contract workers are being regularised. We will make additional recruitment to replace 500 odd permanent workers, who have been asked not to come back," Bhargava said.

Before starting the AGM, he led the gathering in observing one minute silence in memory of Dev, who was killed in the violence at Manesar plant on July 18.

"Awanish was a very dedicated HR Manager. He had a very good relation with union and it is an irony of fate that he was killed by workers," the Chairman said.

Following the incident, which also left nearly 100 injured, Maruti Suzuki had declared a lockout on July 21. It reopened the plant on August 21 after firing 500 workers stating the company had "lost confidence" in them due to their alleged role in the violence.

MSI is investing Rs 2,600 crore to set up a new diesel engine plant, expand capacities and R&D activities in Haryana by 2014. It is also putting in Rs 4,000 crore in Gujarat for a new car manufacturing plant.