Saturday, 16 July 2011

Maruti's Manesar plant workers boycott union election

In a clear sign of lingering tension with the management, workers at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant have boycotted the union election of the company held today saying they will go ahead to form their own body. 

The workers, who had gone on a 13-day-long strike on June 4 under the aegis of Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU) demanding recognition of their association, said they will not recognise the outcome of the "management stage-managed" poll of Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU). 

MUKU is the sole recognised union of the company and is dominated by workers at the Gurgaon plant. 

"Three candidates have been put up by the management from the Manesar plant. There are arrangements for the poll but none of our members are taking part in it," Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU) General Secretary Shiv Kumar told PTI. 

He said instead, MSEU will go ahead with its plans to form the union for which it has filed application to the Haryana government's labour department. 

"The verification process for MSEU is on and once that is complete, we hope to get our union number soon," Kumar added. 

When contacted a company spokesperson said: "The elections are an internal matter of the union. Maruti Suzuki management is only providing administrative support to the election process". 

On June 4, Manesar plant workers went on a strike demanding recognition of their new union, MSEU. Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), during the strike, had lost production of 12,600 units, valued at about Rs 630 crore. 

After 13 days of deadlock, it was called off following intervention of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda with the management agreeing to take back 11 sacked employees and cut down the no work no pay rule of eight day's salary cut for every single day of the strike to three days. 

The agreement, however, had left the main issue of formation of union by the workers at Manesar plant open-ended with both sides making counter claims. 

While the workers said they can go ahead and form a new union, the management had categorically ruled it out. 

Kumar said MUKU, being dominated by the workers at MSI's Gurgaon plant, is not a true representative of the Manesar plant workers and it has been unable to address their concerns. 

The Manesar plant rolls out about 1,200 units every day in two shifts. The factory produces hatchbacks Swift and A- Star and sedans DZiRE and SX4.


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