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Maruti Suzuki agrees to new union

By Motortrend India Staff   |   14 June,2011

Maruti Suzuki on Tuesday agreed to a separate union at Manesar plant even as it took a “liberal view" on the sacking of 11 employees whose jobs were terminated for alleged indiscipline.

The company, which has suffered huge losses due to the 11-day strike at the Manesar plant, said it looks at re-starting production even if the strike continues and a quick solution is not reached. The option includes shifting a part of the production to its Gurgaon factory.

SY Siddiqui, Maruti Suzuki’s head of HR who is among the key management persons to lead the talks, said the company was not averse to the formation of separate unions for both Manesar and Gurgaon though they should consist of only Maruti Suzuki workers. Asked whether the management was ready to accept the contentious demand of protestors to allow outsiders as office bearers, he said the issue will have to be discussed and sorted out through negotiations.

On the issue of taking back the 11 sacked employees, the Maruti official said the company was open to the demand. “We have said that we are ready to consider the demand sympathetically. But the internal work culture should be restored. We have a liberal view on the matter.”

The strike has crippled production of key models like Swift hatchback and Dzire and SX4 sedans. The company fears that the waiting lists for the models will grow, and people may opt for models from rival companies in case the stalemate continues. Maruti is looking at various options to kick-start production even as the strike continues.

Siddiqui said that options include resuming production at Manesar or even shifting some production work to Gurgaon. “We are exploring various possibilities for this over the last one week as we have to constantly look at the need of the customer in the market. We are trying to assess what is the best way.”

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