Maruti: Won't Take Back Fired Workers
7 Novembre 2012 - Wall Street Journal
NEW DELHI--Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. doesn't plan to take back any of the 546 workers who were fired after a riot at the company's factory in July.
"We have always maintained that the sacked workers won't ever be taken back, and that stand continues," a Maruti spokesman said Tuesday.
The spokesman was speaking in response to a local media report which said that the sacked workers are planning a hunger strike and peaceful protests to try and get their jobs back.
The Times of India newspaper said that the workers have formed a temporary committee and have served a notice to the government in northern Haryana state for a hunger strike Wednesday, followed by a rally Thursday.
The report cited a leader of the workers as saying that the management's action was unfair as only 211 workers were charged by the Haryana government's special investigation team.
Maruti, India's largest car maker by sales, has been plagued by labor issues at its factory at Manesar in Haryana. The company has also another factory at nearby Gurgaon.
The labor problems at Manesar turned violent on July 18 after hundreds of workers rioted and set a part of the factory on fire. The plant's human resources manager was killed in the incident and more than 100 people, including company executives and policemen, were injured.
Maruti -- Suzuki Motor Corp.'s largest overseas unit -- had said at the time that the violence began after a worker and a supervisor got into a scuffle. Workers claimed that the supervisor had thrown a caste-based insult, but both the company and police denied this.
Maruti declared an indefinite lockout at Manesar on July 21, saying that it would resume production only when it was sure that employees would be safe.
The factory, which produces Maruti's best-selling and most-profitable Swift and Dzire diesel cars, reopened on Aug. 21 amid heavy security.
Maruti Managing Director Shinzo Nakanishi said on Oct. 30 that the Manesar factory is very close to reaching its full production level of 1,700 cars per day.
Shares of Maruti fell as much as 2.4% Tuesday. They were 1.6% lower at 1,456.15 rupees in afternoon trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange, underperforming a 0.18% rise in the benchmark index.