Stalemate continues at Maruti as workers refuse to budge


The stalemate between the protesting workers of Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant and the management continued on Tuesday after the workers yesterday went back on their earlier decision to sign a memorandum of understanding to call the strike off.

Sources close to the negotiations said yesterday late evening, four representatives of the workers had agreed to a deal in which they accepted the management’s offer of permitting them to set up a union.

“The four representatives had agreed to call off the strike but after discussion with the remaining seven members they decided to back out. It was clear that outside elements are at work to thwart the peace process,” said a senior executive from the management.

The management had said the proposed Manesar plant union would have representatives in a governing council which would also have members from the Gurgaon plant and would deal with corporate-level issues like negotiating wages. Plant-level issues would be decided by the plant unions.

The management, however, made it clear they would not accept any union which had members from outside or with political affiliation.

HRD head in Maruti Suzuki S Y Siddiqui said, “We had agreed to look at the issue of reinstating the 11 workers who were terminated. 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 450 crore; some disciplinary action has to be taken. But our first demand was they should come back to work immediately.”

The strike has entered its 11th day, leading to a loss of over 11,000 vehicles. While no talk between the unions and the management took place on Tuesday the workers as well as the management met the labour commissioner separately today.