Worries over further unrest at its Manesar plant led to a two per cent decline in the stock price of Maruti Suzuki on Tuesday. On the NSE, the stock fell 1.8 per cent to Rs 1,450.25, while on the BSE, it shed 1.7 per cent to Rs 1,454.55.

Market analysts said the workers of the Manesar plant had threatened to launch a rally and go on a hunger strike. The workers are said to be protesting against the company’s decision to not re-hire workers who had been sacked after the July 18 riots. According to them, police investigations are on against about 200-odd workers of 546 workers, who have been sacked.

Plant workers turned violent after a scuffle between a worker and a manager at that time. The riots were followed by an indefinite lock-out until the plant was opened in August.

However, analysts said the streets were not too concerned as they view it as a ‘one or two-day’ event. They argue that this time the protest in the Haryana-based plant is unlikely to gather momentum. The company, said analysts, is firm on its decision to not hire sacked workers. Company officials could not be reached for comments.

Analysts said the company is looking to ramp up production from about 1,600 cars a day to about 2,000 for which they would be looking to hire more workers.

“The Manesar-plant issue is a concern at this point as much depends on how this issue pans out. But barring that, the company’s fundamentals are on a strong footing with the company’s sales expected to do well and ramp-up in its production numbers. Investors could also be booking profits because of this issue as the stock has had a run-up of about 12-13 per cent in the past few weeks,” said Surjit Arora, Research Analyst-Institutional Equities, Prabhudas Lilladher.

sneha.p@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 6, 2012)
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