The labour unrest that seemed to have been contained a week ago returned in full force Friday, with hundreds of Maruti Suzuki workers striking work at Manesar plant, halting production including that of popular hatchback Swift.
The latest strike, which exposes how tenuous the truce — inked between the management and striking Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) workers — to end a 33-day standoff on October 1 is.
The workers have accused the management of going back on its promise of resuming the services of 1,000 casual workers.
“The trouble began in the morning at the gates when the bouncers deputed by the management manhandled the casual workers, sitting outside the factory since the agreement was reached on October 1,” said Anil Kumar, general secretary of All India Trade Union Congress.
Gurgaon deputy commissioner PC Meena attributed the strike to a "communication gap" between the workers and management.
"MSIL management is in the process of preparing schedule for casual workers. The striking workers did not give us any notice before dumping the production today," he said.
The country's top carmaker said the workers had breached contract. "Workers' action clearly violates the agreement that they had signed with the management on October 1. It is a breach of faith.... a mockery," a company spokesperson said.
To queries if the Friday action was linked to taking back some contractual workers, the spokesperson said it was a non-issue. The company was gradually ramping up production at Manesar, including the new 2.5-lakh capacity Manesar B assembly plant. "Many of the contract workers are likely to be absorbed in the expanded operations. This has been communicated to the workers through their employers".
Workers at ancillary units such as Suzuki Powertrain, Satyam Auto and Lumex have expressed support for MSIL stir.