Violent scenes were witnessed on the second day of the ongoing strike by workers of the Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) on Saturday. The protesting workers allegedly attacked co-workers, supervisors and executives at the Manesar-based car manufacturing plant.
Production was disrupted as over 2,500 workers virtually seized the factory premises. There was heavy deployment of police personnel.
Sources said the Maruti Suzuki management feared that with a number of Suzuki-run companies supplying auto components, including engines to it, the strike is likely to hit production at the Gurgaon-based plant.
The workers had halted work and staged a dharna on Friday, without serving a notice either to the management or the labour department.
"The company's management is spreading rumours of violence and damage to the premises to weaken our movement. We have not forced anyone to stay on the premises. Instead police personnel are threatening our workers," said Rishi Pal, a representative of the agitating workers.
On the possibility of talks with the management, he said, "A junior officer from the labour department called up and indicated some kind of arbitration." On the other hand, company officials claimed that the latest round of workers unrest at the Manesar plant had degenerated into a law and order problem, with the latter indulging in violence, besides damaging property.
The workers had also allegedly attacked co-workers, supervisors and executives on Friday evening.
The company reportedly rescued as many as 355 contractual workers, the MSIL officials claimed.
"They were assaulted by the workers and forced to join the stay-in. These contractual workers were rescued by the police and provided medical assistance. The striking workers are said to be holding hundreds of co-workers under duress inside the Manesar factory," they added.
"We have been apprising the Haryana government about the violence. We are concerned about the safety of people as well as the plant and machinery," said a company spokesperson.