The 13-day 'tools-down' strike being followed by workers at the Mahindra & Mahindra plant in Igatpuri has finally been called off, after the suspension of two workers had been revoked. The strike was started on April 9, upon suspension of two workers, who did not comply with enforced disciplinary measures. As per a statement issued by Mahindra & Mahindra, it is said, “The management has also received a personal assurance from the Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray that such instances will not be repeated in future.” It has also been said that disciplinary breach will not take place in the future. This was promised by Suryakant Mahadik, who is the President of Bhartiya Kamgar Sena, an affiliate of Maharashtrian heavyweight political party Shiv Sena. The two workers also wrote an unconditional letter to apologise for their unruly behaviour.
Despite the strike, Mahindra & Mahindra has declared that there has been 'no material impact' with respect to sales volume, since sufficient stock was already in place. In addition to this, production in other locations was also increased to compensate. 1100 engines per day are normally produced per day at the Igatpuri plant in three shifts. Vehicles such as Bolero, Xylo, Genio pickup, XUV500 and Maxximo are produced here. The plant is located 130 km away from the bustling city of Mumbai.
When contacted, no comments were given by company officials with respect to the strike. According to estimates, a production loss of around 8000 units has been experienced over the entire period of this strike. A few strikes have also taken place in the recent past, two of them occurring at the Maruti plant in Manesar during last year. In a riot that took place at the plant, an HR manager was burnt to death, while 85 people, including 9 policemen were injured.
In the above case, the demands of these workers have been fulfilled by the Mahindra & Mahindra management. It is hoped that such strikes that go against the basic principle of work professionalism do not take place in the future, so that steady growth of the Indian automobile industry can take place.