Suspension on assault of manager, says company

Fresh labour trouble seems to be brewing at the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt, with two workers now suspended at Honda’s two-wheeler plant at Manesar on Monday. This follows last month’s violence at the Maruti Suzuki car plant nearby.

Though production at the Honda plant continued as normal on Tuesday, the facility saw a large police deployment for security.

The workers’ union - Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Employees’ Union - has also opted to not go on a strike immediately, pending the outcome of a Labour Department-negotiated settlement with the Honda management.

“A meeting was held today, but the Honda management refused to arrive at a conclusion because they were yet to discuss the matter internally. A second meeting with the Labour Department and company officials is now slated for Thursday (August 9),” Ashok Yadav, President of the union, said.

The suspended workers included Jaibeer, an executive committee member of the Union and Naresh Yadav. Both were let off following an altercation on the sanctioning of leave, sources say.

An Honda Motorcycle & Scooters India spokesperson said that the suspension followed a report received on manhandling and assault of a manager with an “intent of creating an environment of terror in the logistics work area”. Based on this, the workers were suspended pending enquiry.

“We are open for discussion, action will be taken after completion of enquiry. We are in touch with the Labour Department,” the company official said.

However, Ashok Yadav said the main reason for disagreement were the ongoing discussions on wage settlements. Wage agreements are renewed every three years at the plant, and on July 10 this year, the union had put up its new demand notice.

“They are just trying to find reasons for the suspension and put pressure on the union. The workers were suspended for taking a holiday on Rakhi,” he said.

A separate meeting with the Labour Department on wage issues is also scheduled for Wednesday (August 8).

This is not the first time that the company has faced labour disputes. In 2005, over 150 people were seriously injured in a clash between the police and agitating workers.

(This article was published on August 7, 2012)
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