Maruti may strike a deal with disgruntled workers

NEW DELHI: Maruti Suzuki is likely to reinstate all suspended contract workers, sources close to the development said on Thursday, in a sign that the car maker is ready to bend to end months of labour unrest. A formal announcement to end the 14-day standoff had not been made at the time of going to the press.

Negotiations are being brokered by the Haryana government. Maruti had kept the 1,100 contract workers out after signing an agreement on October 3, to end a month-long strike at it Manesar plantover a “good conduct bond”.

Workers had gone on strike again on October 7, seeking their reinstatement. The contract workers will be taken back in a phased manner. “The initiative aims to improve communication with workers. A broader agreement than the earlier two is expected to be signed that will cover the management’s concerns as well as workers’ welfare,” the sources said.

Shabbir is among the handful of workers who live with their families. Shabbir said when his son took ill, he had only Rs 10 in his pocket and had to beg the doctor to treat the child

The company has also agreed to reinstate the services of 64 of the 94 employees suspended earlier for indiscipline at the Manesar plant. Maruti will also set up two forums under the Industrial Disputes Act – Grievances Redressal Committee and Labour Welfare Committee – to look into micro issues at the Masesar plant on a periodic basis.

Three strikes at the carmaker this fiscal year have cost it close over 60,000 cars in production loss. On Thursday, Maruti said it produced 1,997 vehicles at its Gurgaon and Manesar facilities, which included 330 Swift cars.

The company said 200 cars were rolled out from the Manesar plant where it has employed 600 workers after production resumed on October 17. Work had come to a halt at the plant on October 7 after workers staged a sit in strike demanding that all contract workers be taken in and the services of suspended and dismissed employees be restored. Maruti affiliate Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd, which supplies engines and transmissions to the carmaker, is also operating partially.

(Photo The Telegraph)
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