Workers strike turning into law and order issue
“We are extremely concerned about the violent acts of the striking workers. We are worried about the safety of our people in this environment,” a company spokesperson said.
According to the company, the workers are indulging “in several random acts of violence and damaged property inside the factory premises on Saturday”.
“The agitating workers attacked co-workers, supervisors and executives in multiple incidents of violence, and damaged factory property since they began the stay-in strike on Friday evening,” the company said.
The workers, however, denied the charges and said they have not indulged in any of such acts.
Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) management, however, claimed that it was able to rescue as many as 355 contractual workers on Saturday who have “been badly beaten up by the striking workers”.
“They were forced to join the stay-in by the striking workers. These contractual workers were rescued by the police.
Some of the injured were sent to hospital for treatment,” MSI said, adding that the striking workers “are holding hundreds of co-workers under duress inside the Manesar factory, threatening them if they break ranks”.
MSI further said the striking workers are now demanding reinstatement of 44 workers suspended for misconduct, which is against the agreement signed on October 1.
Reacting to the charges, Sushil Kumar, an executive member of Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU), the unrecognised rebel workers’ body, said, “That agreement remains cancelled and we are not going to honour it. What we are demanding is that the casual workers should be taken back.”
Maruti’s Manesar plant has about 2,000 workers, of which over 900 are permanent, while the rest mainly are contractual workers and trainees.
The company management said it has already reiterated that it will take in these contract workers as production is ramped up over the next one week.
“Already, 170 of these contractual workers were taken back and had joined production operations before the stay-in began,” it said.