ibnlive » India

Jun 16, 2011 at 11:11am IST

Maruti strike: two lakh more workers to join in

New Delhi: The strike at Maruti's Manesar plant has entered its 13th day with the management refusing to reinstate 11 sacked employees.

"The situation is the same as yesterday... There is no change," a company spokesperson said.

The Maruti strike in Manesar is spreading to other automobile plants with more than two lakh workers planning to go on hunger strike from Friday.

Workers in about 65 factories in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt have decided to "work empty stomach" on June 17 and hold a two-hour tool-down strike on June 20 from 11 am to 1 pm to support the striking employees of Maruti.

They have indicated a two-hour tool down on June 20 if Maruti's top management does not give in to their demands.

The strike has thrown production out of gear at the Manesar plant and the supply of popular models the SX-4 and D'Zire has been hit. The company has incurred losses worth Rs 390 crores so far. Maruti will release new waiting list soon.

The company has lost production of 11,400 units till Wednesday, valued at about Rs 570 crore.

On Wednesday evening, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda met MSI top executives, including Managing Director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi, and was understood to have assured the firm of the state government's support in not permitting the formation of a second union.

Due to the strike, waiting periods for diesel variants of three models -- Swift, DZiRE and SX4 -- have increased further by up to one month and the company is now fearing an impact on its sales during this month due to the production loss.

MSI Managing Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek said: "We usually do not produce more cars than the market demand. So, whatever loss in production we are witnessing, that will be the impact on sales in this month."

On June 4, workers went on a strike demanding the recognition of a new union, Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU), formed by those working at the Manesar plant, among other things.

While a company spokesperson said only about 600 people are on strike, MSEU General Secretary Shiv Kumar claimed at least 2,000 workers are on a sit-in stir at the plant.

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

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

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.

(With additional information from PTI)