Around 100-odd workers, who had been terminated from service post the incidence of violence at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar unit on July 18, protested outside the District Court in Gurgaon on Wednesday.
The workers are planning to hold a rally on Thursday to demand the re-instatement of all colleagues who have not been named by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the Haryana Police.
"As many as 16 unions in the Gurgaon-Dharuhera belt have pledged support. Workers of the first shift at Maruti Suzuki's Gurgaon and Manesar too have said they will participate in the rally tomorrow. We are expecting a turnout of 4,000-5,000 people", said Ram Kumar, district in-charge (Gurgaon), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC).
The sacked workers have constituted a seven-member provisional working committee (PWC) under the aegis of the non-functional Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union (MSWU). Members of the PWC claimed that while workers at the Manesar facility joined the hunger strike on Wednesday, representatives of the Gurgaon-based Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU) have indicated that they would join a protest rally on Thursday to express solidarity.
Karamveer, a former employee at Maruti Suzuki, said, "The company sacked 546 workers, around 150 of who are in jail. We have undertaken a two-day hunger strike to seek re-instatement of all innocent workers who have not been named by the SIT." Around 400 sacked workers were expected to join the protest today but the crowd dwindled after the Haryana Police removed 60 workers who had gone to protest in front of the Haryana District Commissioner's residence in the morning.
Maruti Suzuki had cut by third its regular workforce and dismissed 546 employees in connection with the violent labour unrest at its Manesar facility on July 18. The incident had resulted in the death of a senior HR executive and left injured around 100 officials in the company.
The company had declared a month-long lock-out at the unit which had led to production loss of 77,000 units. Earlier in August this year, MUKU representatives had approached visiting chairman of parent Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) Osamu Suzuki to re-induct sacked employees at Manesar, but the company had categorically ruled out taking any such action.