Undeterred by the 'betrayal' by their former leaders, workers at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant are going ahead to form a union and have applied again for registration to the Haryana Labour department.
While the workers have decided to retain the previously proposed name Maruti Suzuki Employees' Union, a new crop of leaders have emerged to take forward their cause.
According to a worker at the plant, Ram Mehar Singh has been nominated as new president of MSEU, Sarabjit Singh as new General Secretary of the body.
MSEU former president Sonu Gujjar and ex-general secretary Shiv Kumar, along with 28 other suspended workers, which included all the former office-bearers of MSEU, had left the firm after taking a severance package of Rs 16 lakh (Rs 1.6 million) each.
"Sonu Gujjar, Shiv Kumar and other people have betrayed us. We do not know why they have done this, but we will move ahead. We have again applied for registration of our union to the Labour Department in Chandigarh on last Friday," a worker at the Manesar plant told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
In July, MSEU's application for registration was declined by the Haryana Labour Department on technical grounds.
The worker further said: "This time we are very careful and we are taking care of all the regulations. We have already informed the company in writing about our new application".
He further said the union will be an internal and independent body. MSI management has been opposed to the formation of an externally affiliated new union at the plant.
When contacted, a Maruti Suzuki India spokesperson said: "Yes, the company has received in writing from the workers".
In the meantime, Shiv Kumar confirmed that 30 suspended workers during the 14-day agitation in October have resigned from the company after 'accepting an amount of around Rs 16 lakh each'.
". . . but we have not accepted any wrong money. This is our due amount that includes our savings such as remaining days' of work, DA allowances and provident fund," Kumar claimed.
This year, MSI witnessed three instances of labour unrest at its Manesar plant, which mainly produces the Swift, causing a total production loss of about 83,000 units.
In June, 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.