Labour issues getting worse for Maruti Suzuki; sacked Manesar workers going on a two day hunger strike from November 7, 2012
Labour problems seems to be courting Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), the country's favourite passenger car maker, as sacked employees of the company's Manesar production unit have pledged a two-day hunger strike starting from November 7, 2012. As per reports, the labour union of MSIL's Gurgaon facility are too expressing dissent with the car maker's decision of terminating the contracts of gone-astray workers employed at Manesar unit.
Evidently, the Manesar violence of July 18, 2012 that resulted in death of a senior Human Resources (HR) employee and leaving over 100 injured, is an underwhelming dark patch on the company's market image and Public Relations (PR) strategy. The deadly violence shook the company to its core and registered immense public outrage and media coverage, besides entailing Suzuki Chairman and President, Osamu Suzuki to visit India, in order to resolve the proceedings.
Expressing his opinion on the hunger strike to be started by fired work force of MSIL's Manesar unit, Kuldeep Jhangu, General Secretary, Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU) of Gurgaon, affirmed that the union will support the unemployed employees. Jhangu further added that the Gurgaon arm of MUKU will not take part in the hunger strike. Commenting on MSIL terminating the contracts of its troubled Manesar employees, Jhangu said, “The management's action has been most unfair as it has dismissed so many workers without even a formal inquiry. This is the reason we are asking for their reinstatement.” The General Secretary also raised the matter in a meeting with Osamu Suzuki, during his visit in India in August 2012.
Reportedly, post the ugly agitation at Manesar, MSIL sacked over 500 workers. However, the protesting workers whose contracts have been terminated, questioned the company's decisions and termed it 'unfair and without a genuine argument.' According to unemployed workers, MSIL's decision is unjustified as only 200 employees out of sacked 500, are mentioned in the chargesheet filed by Police, post the deadly July 2012 incident.
Speaking on hunger strike, Imaan Khan, member of the provisional committee of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU), said, “We want our reinstatement and a proper and unbiased inquiry into the incident, apart from the release of all our colleagues who have been arrested. On Thursday, we will hold a protest rally in which different workers' union of the Gurgaon-Manesar belt and central trade unions will participate.” Further, the unemployed protesters have formed a seven member provisional committee called MSWU, which will put the issues in front of senior MSIL officials.
Regarding the company's take on the brewing hunger strike, a senior Maruti Suzuki Official, said, “We have always maintained that the sacked workers won't ever be taken back, and that stand continues.”