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Maruti's Manesar unit workers on strike again; production halted

Heavy security has been deployed at the plant as the company management decided to make the workers sign the bond after suspending 10 workers, while five were dismissed.

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: August 30, 2011  | 11:41 IST

Production at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant was completely affected on Monday, with the company preventing workers from entering the factory without signing a 'good conduct' bond following alleged "sabotage" resulting in quality issues that arose last week.

According to estimates, the firm has suffered production loss of about 1,200 units, valued at around Rs 60 crore.

Heavy security has been deployed at the plant as the company management decided to make the workers sign the bond after suspending 10 workers, while five were dismissed and another six trainees were discontinued from services.

Maruti sales fall 8.8% in June

"There was no production today because the workers were not allowed to enter the facility as they have refused to sign the bond," a company spokesperson said.

The shares of the company ended at Rs 1,080 apiece on BSE, down 0.02 per cent from the previous close.

Alleging sabotage by some workers, the company management 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 indulge in activities which would hamper the normal production in the plant.

The workers, however, said the management was taking the steps to take 'revenge' for going into a 13-day strike in June demanding recognition of a new union - Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU) - at the plant located in Harayana.

Taking an aggressive stand, the management is understood to have decided to move all non-automated production work from the plant to its Gurgaon unit till the time the workers agreed to sign the bond.

How worker troubles have hit Maruti in the past

"Moreover, if needed, fresh workers could be hired to resume production but no regular worker, who does not sign the bond, will be allowed inside the plant," a management source said.

As many as 22 regular workers at the plant have signed the bond so far. While casual workers have been asked to report to their respective contractors, apprentices at the plant have been given leave till September 1.

The plant that produces models such as Swift, DZiRE and SX4, has a total of about 2,500 workers, of which 950 are regular employees.

When contacted, Shiv Kumar, who had led the workers during the stir in June, said: "The management is forcing us to sign an undertaking following rejection of our application to form a union at the plant by the Haryana government."

The management source, however, said MSI has been facing serious production issues, including meeting targets and quality control in the past few weeks.

"On August 24, 1,230 cars were planned to be produced, but only 437 were assembled. Out of which, just 96 cars could pass quality check," the source said.

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