Country’s top carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, plunged into another crisis as production at its Manesar plant was abruptly stopped for the second time in past two months after its sacked around two dozen workers.
The assembly lines for Maruti’s top selling cars such as the new Swift, A-Star hatchbacks and Sx4 sedan came to a grinding halt after it terminated services of 11 workers and also suspended another 10, on charges of indiscipline and deliberately sabotaging the quality of its cars.
The heavy buildup of police and Maruti’s large army of private security personnel started last night and intensified in the morning with company’s asking every worker to sign ‘good conduct bond’ before resuming work in the factory. Taking a tough stand, the Maruti management did not allow any worker to enter the strongly barricated factory premises and preferred to suffer production losses rather than to give in to the worker’s demands this time.
Till the time of going to the press, around two-dozen workers had reportedly signed the company bond. There are around 900 permanent workers at the Manesar plant of the total workforce of around 1800.
The workers at the Manesar factory, who had been trying to register their own independent union under the aegis of Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU), did not endorse Maruti's new policy, though they stopped short of calling their protest a ‘strike’. “Maruti is trying to enforce its unlawful diktats in the garb of these new measures.
Even as half a dozen workers were suspended in July, seamless production continued without any break till last week. Now we are not going to sign any new bond even if the company terminates our services,” said Shiv Kumar, general secretary of MSEU. Maruti’s Chairman RC Bhargava refused to comment on the ongoing industrial unrest.
Senior executives said that company would not allow any deviation this time. “The situation has reached to a stage where it was directly harming customers’ interest and trust.
Therefore, the company management has decided to enforce Good Conduct Bond for workers which seeks an assurance from the workers that they will not resort to go-slow, sabotage to production or indulgence in activities which would hamper the normal production in the plant,” Maruti brass said on Monday.