Maruti Suzuki strike: Agitating workers hold others ‘under duress’ at Manesar plant

The second day of the ongoing strike at Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) that began this weekend has supposedly turned violent. Production stopped as 2,500 workers quite literally seized the Maruti Manesar Plant with them turning violent and attacking supervisors, co-workers, and executives.

Police personnel are deployed in huge numbers in trying to curb violence. The MSIL management fears that the strike if continual can hamper Gurgaon plant production since a number of critical component supply companies will be hit. This time the dharna was staged without serving a notice to the labor department or management.

Maruti Suzuki has rescued 355 contractual workers from the agitating workers. What is difficult to fathom is the fact that there are still a few hundred workers that are being forcibly held in the plant by the agitating workers. That number has not yet been disclosed. The Haryana Government has been notified about situation and MSIL is concerned about safety of people, plant and machinery.

Officials at Maruti Suzuki are calling the latest strike at the Manesar plant a law and order problem as the latter have engaged in violence, and damage to property can’t be ruled out. Today Maruti has dismissed 10 workers, terminated five trainees, and suspended 10 employees. Another 100 workers held under duress have been rescued today.

A company spokesperson had this t say. “They were assaulted by the workers and forced to join the stay-in. These contractual workers were rescued by the police and provided medical assistance. The striking workers are said to be holding hundreds of co-workers under duress inside the Manesar factory.” “We have been apprising the Haryana government about the violence. We are concerned about the safety of people as well as the plant and machinery,” said a company spokesperson.

A rep of the agitating workers Rishi Pal had this to say. “The company’s management is spreading rumors of violence and damage to the premises to weaken our movement. We have not forced anyone to stay on the premises. Instead police personnel are threatening our workers.” He added, “A junior officer from the labor department called up and indicated some kind of arbitration.”