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2-hr tool down strike in 65 factories

india Updated: Jun 14, 2011 11:28 IST

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Workers in up to 65 factories in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt commenced a two-hour tool-down strike this morning in support of their colleagues at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant, where a crippling strike entered its 11th day on Tuesday.

"The situation is the same as yesterday. The strike is continuing and production at the plant is stopped," a company spokesperson said.

In the morning, shares of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) were trading 0.87 % down at Rs 1,216.95 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), which is leading the agitation from outside along with other unions such as the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said workers in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt have started the two-hour tool-down strike in support of Maruti's workers at the Manesar plant.

"The tool-down strike has started and about 60-65 factories' workers are taking part in it. If in a day or two, no solution comes out, then workers will go on for a full-day strike," AITUC Secretary D L Sachdev said.

CITU Haryana State President Satvir Singh said a meeting between the state government officials, company management and workers is expected today and if nothing positive happens, "we will intensify our agitation".

On Monday, a tripartite meeting between the government, MSI management and striking workers failed as the company refused to accept any new union at the plant.

"It is very unfortunate that the company is retracting its own statement. Just a day after it had said that it was willing to consider separate local unions at each plant, the management simply refused to accept any new union and asked us to be a part of the existing union," the newly formed Maruti Suzuki Employees Union's General Secretary Shiv Kumar said.

MSI Managing Executive Officer (Administration) S Y Siddiqui had yesterday ruled out compromising on having a non-affiliated union at the Manesar plant.

Currently the company has one recognised union -- Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union -- which is dominated by workers at the Gurgaon plant.

The striking workers are demanding the recognition of a new union -- Maruti Suzuki Employees Union -- formed by those working at the Manesar plant, among other things.

Cracking the whip, the company fired 11 workers last week for allegedly inciting others to go on strike.

On Sunday, however, the company said it was willing to recognise the new union -- the main demand of the workers.

The workers also said they are willing to end the stir provided 11 of their sacked colleagues are reinstated.

Around 2,000 workers at the plant have been on strike since June 4, resulting in a loss of about Rs 450 crore for 9,000 units till on Monday.