Maruti Manesar plant: 1 killed, 40 injured, 80 arrested, car production halted indefinitely

Maruti Manesar plant: 1 killed, 40 injured, 80 arrested, car production halted indefinitely

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The largest car manufacturer in India, is once again in news, for all the wrong reasons. At their infamous plant in Manesar, Haryana, worker – management scuffle began once again earlier yesterday. The result was a kind of violence that was not seen earlier in history – 1 killed, 40 injured, 80 arrested and no production since yesterday. General Manager (HR) at Manesar Plant, Awanish Kumar Dev succumbed to burn injuries.

Three Japanese executives were also among the 40 injured when Maruti Suzuki workers at Manesar plant went on a rampage. Agitated workers even set fire to the firm’s office. The trouble which commenced at noon yesterday ensued after management suspended a worker following an altercation with a senior supervisor. Workers on duty at the plant allege that the supervisor on duty passed a casteist remark which provoked the worker to slap the supervisor after which mayhem developed. The company shut down its plant on Wednesday and police have arrested 80 workers.

A mob of around 3000 people collected at Gate No.2 of the plant and set fire to an office around 6.30pm after second shift came to a close. 25 fire engines were rushed to the factory premises and though the fire was extinguished by 8.00 pm smoke still billowed out right upto 11.00 pm. The company has blamed workers for starting the fire due to which one person was burnt to death and several others injured.

This fresh tussle will further escalate ongoing struggle between new labor union and management. Sources have stated that atmosphere in the factory premises is grim and even though Maruti management and Haryana Government are trying to bring about a quick settlement.

It may be remembered that precisely a year ago in June 2011 the company had resorted to a 13 day strike demanding recognition of the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union. Another strike in August lasted 33 days. The total production loss is estimated at over 83,000 cars and in financial terms, over Rs 1,200 crores.

Manesar plant has a capacity to manufacture 1500 cars in a day. Considering that the company has a stock of cars, which they use if there is a production delay, Maruti is looking at a production loss of about 8,000 cars if this strike continues for a week.

Earlier yesterday, Maruti Suzuki said, “workers at the plant turned violent, attacking and injuring executives and managers in the office premises. At least 40 managers and executives are injured, and have been rushed to hospital. The attackers also set fire to property and damaged facilities.”

Maruti Manesar Plant SHO, Om Prakash, said, “The management has given some names of union leaders. An FIR has been lodged against around 60 workers. Some workers have been detained. The workers who instigated the violence and committed the crime have been identified and will soon be arrested.”

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