More than 200 of the 300 Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) workers, who were supposed to join work on Tuesday at the automobile firm's Manesar plant, abstained from work, sources said.
Tuesday was the first day of resumed production at the plant after it witnessed labour unrest on July 18, resulting in the closing down of the plant.
While Maruti management refused to comment on the matter, sources told HT that only 84 of the 300 workers turned up on Tuesday.
Sources said the labourers feared a backlash from the 500 workers sacked by MSIL and sympathisers of the nearly 150 workers arrested for the July 18 arson which led to the death of a company general manager and injured over 100 employees.
“A lot of workers stayed away from the plant as they were not sure about the security arrangements," said a workers' union leader at a prominent auto-maker's plant in Gurgaon.
After adopting the wait-and-watch approach for a day and getting convinced that the heavy security cordon in and around the Manesar plant made for a safe entry and exit, the number of workers reporting to work increased to 200 on Wednesday.
Those who joined work on Tuesday carried their factory uniforms in bags and wore them only once they were inside the factory to avoid being singled out and attacked by disgruntled groups.
As the day ended, workers were bundled into cabs and buses as security guards kept vigilance.
One of the workers, who joined on Tuesday, told HT that all the employees had been directed by the management to follow this drill for a month for security reasons.
Rajendra Pathak, the lawyer for MSIL union leaders and other workers arrested for the July 18 violence, said most of the workers abstained from work on day one as they were apprehensive and skeptical about the management's behaviour.
As many as 1,500 policemen, 40 personal security officers, 100 private security guards and over a dozen vigilance sleuths were present on the first day of reopening of the plant.
Moreover, a dedicated 550-strong Indian Reserve Battalion has been stationed permanently at the plant for the employees' security.
A few workers from Japan said on Tuesday that these security arrangements made them feel safe.
Several youths have been flocking the factory in the hope of getting a job.