Maruti strike continues for sixth day, production hit

NEW DELHI: The strike at the country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant in Haryana continued for the sixth day Wednesday as the stand-off between agitating workers and the management showed no signs of easing.

“The situation still remains the same,” a company official here said.

According to the official, the production at Manesar facility, which rolls out 1,200 units per day of some of the company’s best-seller cars like Swift, SX4 and A-Star, has been stopped completely.

“No production is taking place. Currently we can not comment on how long the situation would persist,” the official said.

He said the workers, who went on strike Friday and seized control of the factory Monday, were still in control of the plant.

The situation at the company’s other plant in Gurgaon is also affected as workers at the Suzuki Powertrain India Limited halted production to show solidarity with their Manesar-based counterparts.

“The production (at Gurgaon plant) is also badly affected as key components are not being manufactured and supplied from Suzuki Powertrain,” the official said.

On Tuesday, the company said it was able to produce only 1,800 units at the Gurgaon plant as compared to average output of 2,800 units per day.

The strike could not come at a more crucial time for the car manufacturer as it is the festive season, which typically generates huge demand — something the automobile giant is in need of given the sluggish sales witnessed in recent months.

Workers at the plant went on strike Friday demanding reinstatement of 44 suspended co-workers, who were not taken back after an earlier 33-day impasse with the management ended Oct 1.

Of the 2,000 workers who went on strike Oct 7, who were from all categories – regular, contractual, apprentices and trainees – 500 later came back to work.

On Sunday, Maruti Suzuki had dismissed 10 workers, terminated five trainees and suspended 10 employees for having indulged in violence at the Manesar factory.

The strike comes within a week after workers agreed to sign a ‘good conduct bond’.

According to some estimates, the company has suffered losses worth around Rs.1,500 crore as a result of series of strikes at the plant which started from June 2011.

The production losses stand at around 51,000 units, with an excise loss of Rs.350 crore to the federal government and around Rs.40 crore revenue losses to the Haryana government.

Even the component suppliers of the auto giant are a worried lot and have sought the Haryana government’s intervention to resolve the impasse.

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