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Maruti workers adamant on strike: Labour dept

Source: PTI
September 14, 2011 18:02 IST
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MarutiThe Haryana Labour department said on Wednesday the agitating workers of Maruti's Manesar plant were adamant on not rejoining their duties, despite its best efforts to resolve the issue.

Asking workers to sign the good conduct bond as there is nothing illegal in it, the department said the 'problems of workers could aggravate' if they continue to abstain from their work.

"They (workers) are not ready to listen to us. I along with Labour Commissioner met them (last week) and appealed to them to rejoin their duties as we do not see any illegality in the good conduct bond (which the company is asking workers to sign it," Haryana Labour Secretary Sarban Singh told PTI in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

Asked whether any body or organisation was instigating workers to continue shun work, Singh refused to be drawn into this matter.

However, he said, "We have not seen any evidence of workers being instigated by any body. But if they are getting instigated then it is their fault."

Maruti Suzuki India chairman R C Bhargava few days back had termed the labour unrest as 'political issue'.

However, the entire state machinery is on its job to resolve the issue at the earliest so that the production at Maruti Suzuki plant could turn normal.

Labour Secretary said the Maruti management was making its own arrangements by hiring more people to avoid further production losses.

"Management has already started recruiting new people (to run factory) . . . problems of workers (if they continue to be on strike) could further they should accept what management says," he said.

On the charge being leveled by workers that the labour department takes side of the management, Singh said, "It is not true. We are talking to them (workers) . . . we have even personally met them and our officers are still on their job to resolve the issue."

Trouble arose in Maruti Suzuki's plant at Manesar last month when management asked workers to sign good conduct bond before entering factory.

Labour strike spreads to Suzuki's other factories: Workers at three factories of two different companies of Suzuki in India have gone on strike this afternoon in support of their colleagues at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant, who are locked in a standoff with the management since August 29.

The two companies where the workers have gone on strike are -- Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd.

The three factories of these companies are located in the Gurgaon-Menes industrial belt.

"The workers of these three companies have gone on strike since this afternoon in support of MSI's Manesar plant workers," president of Suzuki Powertrain India Employees Union President Sube Singh Yadav told PTI.

He said the workers from these three plants are asking for an early settlement to the standoff between MSI management and workers at the Manesar plant that has severely affected production since August 29.

Workers from Suzuki Castings -- a part of Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd -- who are affiliated to Suzuki Powertrain India Employees Union, also said they have joined the strike.

Suzuki Motorcycle India Workers Union President Anil Kumar said workers at the two-wheeler maker's plant stopped working in support of colleagues at MSI.

"We want them (Maruti) to settle the issue as soon as possible, till then we will be on strike.

"Moreover, we are also demanding regularisation of our colleagues here who have\ been working here for more than four years," he said.

Comments from officials of Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd could not be obtained immediately.

Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd employs over than 2,000 workers at its Manesar plant, where it manufactures diesel engines and transmissions for supplies to MSI. Suzuki Castings has nearly 700 workers.

Suzuki Motorcycles India has 1,400 workers at its plant near Manesar and it rolls out about 1,200 motorcycles and scooters a day.

On Tuesday, MSI sacked five more workers at its Manesar plant on disciplinary grounds even as it recruited 100 new people to replace the existing workers, who have refused to sign the good conduct bond.

MSI management and the workers have been locked in a standoff since August 29 when the management prevented workers from entering factory premises unless they signed the bond, after allegations of sabotage and deliberate compromise on the quality of cars being produced surfaced.

The bond required the workers to declare that they would 'not resort to go slow, intermittent stoppage of work, stay-in-strike, work-to-rule, sabotage or otherwise indulge in any activity, which would hamper the normal production in the Factory'.

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