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Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) today said it has suspended 16 more permanent workers and discontinued the services of 12 trainees as the stand-off between the management and workers at its Manesar plant intensified, completely affecting production for the second day.
“Production has not started yet, but there are indications that it will resume today with alternate arrangements like contract workers and hiring technicians,” an MSI spokesperson said.
After suspending 10 workers, dismissing five and discontinuing with the services of six trainees yesterday, the company is continuing with its aggressive crackdown against labourers after quality issues attributed to sabotage came to light last week.
“We have suspended 16 more permanent employees today and also terminated the services of 12 more technician trainees,” the spokesperson said.
Those who have been suspended and dismissed are being charged with sabotage and causing quality problem in cars produced last week.
The workers, however, said the management was taking these steps in ‘revenge’ for their 13-day strike in June demanding the recognition of a new union — the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU) — at the plant located in Haryana.
Production at the plant came to a complete halt yesterday, with the company preventing workers from entering the factory without signing a ‘good conduct bond’ following the alleged “sabotage”.
“The management is taking revenge on us and forcing us to sign an undertaking following rejection of our application to form a union at the plant by the Haryana government,” MSEU General Secretary Shiv Kumar, who led the workers during the stir in June, said.
The suspended and dismissed workers include all the office-bearers of the proposed MSEU, he added.
However, management sources said MSI has been facing serious production issues, particularly with respect to meeting targets and quality control, in the past few weeks.
“On August 24, 1,230 cars were planned to be produced, but only 437 were assembled. Out of which, just 96 cars could pass quality check,” the source had said.
Workers have been indulging in deliberate attempts to reduce output and are compromising customer interests, the source added.
However, when asked about the allegations of tampering with the products, Kumar said, “Some management-supported workers are doing this after the product is ready just to take revenge on us for the June strike.”