for building a democratic labour movement in India
Maruti stir stretches to main plant in Gurgaon
A day after Maruti Suzuki sacked about a third of the 1,528 permanent workers at its Manesar plant, the Gurgaon-based Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (Muku) demanded their reinstatement. The demand was supported by about 30 other trade unions affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress (Aituc) and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions based in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt.
“We have communicated to the management that a full inquiry should be conducted and the proper procedure followed before dismissing workers at Manesar. We have also filed a memorandum before the Haryana government, demanding the reinstatement of all sacked workers and the release of all innocent workers arrested in connection with the violence at Manesar,” said Kuldeep Jhangu, general secretary, MUKU. So far, the Haryana police has arrested 154 workers for the arson at the Manesar facility.
Jhangu said talks with the management had begun and a decision on further action would be taken after gauging the company’s response.
On Friday, about 5,000 workers from about 30 trade unions in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt held a protest rally against the dismissal of workers at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant.
The company has indicated more dismissals are likely. “Our officials injured in the incident on July 18 and others who managed to escape have identified workers involved in the violence. We have lost confidence in them and have issued termination notices to over 500 such employees. It is possible once more people are identified, more notices will be sent,” Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava had said yesterday.
The trade unions also demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the violent standoff between workers and the management at the plant, which had resulted in the death of a senior management executive and left 96 officials injured.
D L Sachdeva, national secretary of the Communist Party of India-backed Aituc, said, “The trade unions had earlier filed a memorandum to the chief minister (of Haryana). If the state administration does not respond even now, the unions would hold a protest before Parliament.”
Yesterday, Maruti Suzuki had said it would lift the month-long lockout and start production with 300 of the remaining 1,000 permanent workers at Manesar on Tuesday, under police protection. The company would manufacture about 150 cars, a tenth of its total capacity. It would also screen the 1,869 contract workers and regularise those deemed “fit” for employment starting September 2. Contract workers would not be employed for production.