Maruti's Manesar plant workers boycott union polls

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 21, 2011

Workers at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant boycotted union elections

Workers at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant boycotted union elections held on Saturday, saying they were not ready to recognise the outcome of the “management stage-managed” poll.

“The management is intent on forming a joint body of Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU) of its Gurgaon plant and Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU) of its Manesar plant,” said Mr Shiv Kumar, General Secretary of the proposed union.

“We do not want to associate ourselves with MUKU, as they are not our true representatives and will not be able to address our concerns. We will go ahead with our independent union, for which we have filed an application with the Haryana Government's Labour Department,” he said.

Workers at the Manesar plant had struck work for 13 days in June, demanding recognition for a new union, MSEU. As of now, MUKU is the sole recognised union of the company and is dominated by workers from the Gurgaon plant.

“Three candidates put up by the management from the Manesar plant had not taken part in the strike held last month. The management was looking for six workers from the Manesar plant but could find only three willing nominees for the proposed joint union. None of our members will take part in this exercise,” Mr Kumar said.

The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, intervened and brought an end to the strike. The management agreed to re-instate 11 sacked employees and cut down the no-work-no pay rule of eight days' salary cut for every single day of the strike, to one day.

The compromise formula, however, left the main issue of a new union formation by the workers at the Manesar plant, open ended, with both sides making counter claims.

When contacted, a company spokesperson said: “The elections are an internal matter of the union. The Maruti Suzuki management is only providing administrative support to the election process. Union elections are being held to elect representatives for a single union in the company.”

MSI, during the strike, had lost production of 13,400 cars, valued at about Rs 460 crore.

The Manesar plant rolls out about 1,200 units every day in two shifts. The factory produces hatchbacks Swift and A-Star and sedans DZiRE and SX4.

Published on July 16, 2011

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