Strike at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant ends

Roudra Bhattacharya Mumbai | Updated on March 14, 2018

Impasse at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant ended on Friday morning following a tripartite agreement signed between the management, workers and the Haryana Government. It was decided that the company will take back 64 permanent workers and suspend 30.   -  Business Line

The latest round of the 14-day workers' strike at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar facility was called off early on Friday, sources close to the development told Business Line.

Though work at the car plant is now likely to resume from Saturday, some confusion remains regarding the suspension of three Suzuki Powertrain workers – which is expected to be clarified by the end of the day.

The agreement was signed in a tripartite meeting between workers' representatives, Maruti officials, labour department and the Gurgaon district administration, that went on late into Thursday night and ended around 3 a.m. on Friday morning. Maruti was represented by its Chief General Managers of both Human Resources and Production.

Deal terms

As per the deal terms, the carmaker would take back 64 permanent workers, but continue the suspension of 30 more on whom the allegations/charges were of a more serious nature. A further 1,200 casual workers will also be reinstated, while it was agreed that two committees will be set up for grievance redressal and labour welfare.

Maruti Suzuki shares on the BSE rose 3 per cent in early trade on the news. It was trading 2.53 per cent higher at Rs 1,103 by 1:22 p.m. on Friday.

Two separate agreements have also been signed between workers of Suzuki Powertrain’s facility and Suzuki Motorcycle India, along with their respective management and Haryana Government officials. Workers from both these plants had gone on strike to express solidarity with their colleagues at the Manesar plant.

Suzuki Powertrain facility

Interestingly, sources said that a few hours after the agreement was reached, the Suzuki Powertrain workers objected to the agreement terms, indicating that their strike was still on. About to end their own strike, Maruti’s Manesar workers decided to extend support as well, indicating a possible negation of the Friday morning settlement. However, developments later around Friday afternoon point to the sticking issue being resolved.

“At around 6 30 a.m. today, Suzuki Powertrain workers told their management that they don’t agree to the terms. They said that the three employees suspended (as per the agreement) will have to be taken back, leading to a stalemate for all,” a source said.

This latest development comes after several round of meetings over the last three days, which culminated in the final discussion on Thursday night. As per the agreement, workers will not be paid for the duration of the strike.

Workers at the company's second plant in the region (the first one at Gurgaon) have been on strike since October 7 demanding reinstatement of about 1,200 casual workers and 44 permanent workers. These workers had been suspended following an agreement signed on October 1 to end the previous 33-day-long standoff.

The current strike has been the third such round, with the whole issue initially starting this June. In the first phase of the 13 day strike in June, which saw production stopping for around 10 days, workers had been demanding a new union for the Manesar facility.

At the last count, Maruti on Thursday made 200 cars from Manesar and a total of 1,997 vehicles from both factories. While some existing workers have not gone on strike, the company has also hired a new workforce in order to keep production running. Output has also been hit by the strike at Suzuki's nearby powertrain facility, which supplies diesel engines to the plant.

Published on October 21, 2011

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