After an investigation that dragged for nearly six months, former union leader at Suzuki Powertrain India (SPIL) Subey Singh was dismissed 10 days ago along with two other employees for “instigating labour unrest” in the factory.
Singh had alleged in November that he was offered a bribe by the company to back off after the workers had supported the strike at Maruti’s Manesar factory. SPIL is a joint venture between Maruti and Suzuki of Japan and supplies diesel engines and transmissions to the car manufacturer.
“Singh was being investigated for his role during the labour unrest and it was found that he had instigated the protests,” said a company official. “He has been dismissed from the services.”
The labour strike at the factory over recognition of a new union at Manesar, raged intermittently between June and October and resulted in a loss of production of almost 75,000 cars and a revenue loss of R2,200 crore. After the strike was finally called off, 30 workers from Maruti and three from Suzuki Powertrain including Singh, were suspended and an inquiry on their conduct was ordered.
Workers from Maruti, however, resigned even before the inquiry could be completed and it was alleged that they were bribed to leave the company, a charge that has been contested by the firm. Singh had later said that he too had been offered a bribe to end the resistance.
“The union leaders at Maruti were corrupt and bought over by the management and they tried to bribe me as well,” Singh had said in November. “They had asked me what is it that I want and everything could be provided for. But I have a conscience and I cannot betray the trust of my fellow workers.”
Singh could not be contacted for his comments despite repeated attempts. The two other dismissed employees are Mukesh Kumar and Vivek Lakehra.