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Maruti's Manesar workers demand 5-fold rise in basic pay

Last updated on: April 23, 2012 15:54 IST

Maruti's Manesar workers demand 5-fold rise in basic pay

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Emboldened by the recognition of their union, workers at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant are understood to have demanded a hike in their basic salaries, as high as five times in some cases, ahead of the scheduled wage negotiations with the management.

According to sources close to the development, the newly formed body -- Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union -- has submitted a list of about 20 demands to the management for consideration while finalising the three-year wage settlement agreement.

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Image: Private security guards outside the Manesar plant.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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"The union submitted their list to the management last week.

"Among the major ones, the workers are demanding raise in basic salaries that can be as high as five times more in some cases," a source said.

The workers have also asked for linking of dearness allowance to basic pay instead of a fixed amount being given currently, the source added.

MSWU General Secretary Sarabjeet Singh said: "We have submitted our demand list to the company management on April 18. It has about 20-22 different points."

He, however, refused to disclose anything about the demands, saying MSWU is yet to start negotiations with the management.

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Image: An employee draws a line to demarcate an area out of bounds for the media.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Maruti Suzuki India managing executive officer (administration) S Y Siddiqui declined to comment.

Among other demands, it is understood that the workers have also asked for increasing the number of privilege and casual leaves, offer conveyance services within 100 km distance from the plant and help the employees in getting affordable accommodation.

According to an employee at the Manesar plant, a permanent worker with a designation of Junior Associate-1 (JA-1) draws a total salary of about Rs 15,000-17,000 a month.

"Out of this total amount, basic pay is Rs 5,000, travelling allowance is Rs 1,600, HRA is around Rs 1,400 and an amount of Rs 200 for washing our clothes.

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Image: A car manufacturing unit.
Photographs: Reuters

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"The major component is a variable performance-linked allowance of Rs 7,000-9,000," he added.

Besides these, the workers get a fixed DA of Rs 150 every month, he claimed.

"A worker is made permanent after three years of serving as a trainee at the factory and offered a designation of JA-1.

"All the employees, who had joined the plant, are JA-1. There is only one worker at JA-2 level and he was transferred from the Gurgaon plant," the worker said.

A trainee's monthly remuneration varies between about Rs 7,000 and Rs 11,500 depending upon seniority.

Also, a contractual worker gets Rs 6,000-7,000 every month, he added.

The worker further said: "Various levels of hikes have been demanded in the list keeping in mind all types of workers at the plant."


Photographs: Reuters
Tags: JA-1 , JA-2

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On April 12, MSI had said it is likely to finalise the wage negotiation agreements at Gurgaon and Manesar plants by the end of May and it will be implemented with retrospective effect from this month.

Siddiqui had then said MSI has already started wage negotiations for a three-year period with its workers at the Gurgaon facility, while the same for the Manesar plant was likely to start within the next 2-3 weeks.

MSWU, which was formed after the office-bearers of the erstwhile Maruti Suzuki Employees' Union had left the firm after taking a severance package of minimum Rs 16 lakh (Rs 1.6 million) each, received its registration number from the Haryana Labour Department in February this year.

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Image: A man rides his bicycle infront of the Manesar plant.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Last year, MSI witnessed three instances of labour unrest at the Manesar plant, which mainly produces the Swift, causing a total production loss of about 83,000 units.

In June 2011, a 13-day strike demanding the recognition of MSEU brought production to a standstill at the plant.

It was followed by another standoff between the management and the workers on August 29 and lasted for 33 days.

In October, the company again saw its workers going on a 14-day strike that ended after the signing of a tripartite agreement between the management, workers and Haryana government representatives.


Photographs: Reuters
Tags: MSEU , MSI , Manesar , Haryana

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