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Maruti Suzuki to ‘avoid’ force against striking workers

By Motortrend India Staff   |   11 October,2011

Country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Tuesday said it would try to avoid using force to evict some 1,500 striking workers who last week seized control of a factory, halting production.

Company chairman R.C. Bhargava said talks were underway in a bid to end the strike at factories owned by Japanese-controlled Maruti in northern Indian Haryana state’s Manesar and Gurgaon regions.

“We will try and avoid the use of force to evict the workers from the (Manesar) plant... We have not reached that stage yet,” the Maruti chairman said. Bhargava said the unrest had hit Maruti’s output. “The Manesar plant has been completely shut down since Friday afternoon and production at Gurgaon has fallen because of the strikes,” he said.

Manesar, which employs 2,000 workers, normally produces up to 1,200 of Maruti’s top-selling Swift and A-Star hatchbacks and SX4 sedans daily. Production at Gurgaon had slumped by some 50 percent to 1,600 units daily as workers at a Maruti ancillary were on a sympathy strike, disrupting supplies.

Maruti is 54 per cent owned by Suzuki Motor Corp and India is critical to the Japanese firm’s fortunes as the country is its biggest foreign market.

The latest confrontation began just days after staff returned to work following a 33-day lockout and Bhargava accused strike leaders on reneging on a settlement reached on October 1.

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