Thursday, November 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

MUL adopts tough posture
From Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

GURGAON, Nov 1 — Encouraged by the apparent division in workers of the Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL) on the issue of continuing their agitation, the management today said that there was no proposal for an “amnesty scheme” for those who would return to work.

Addressing a press conference on the company’s factory premises here, the Managing Director, Mr Jagdish Khattar, asserted that there would be no wages for the strike period. To another query whether the management would come out with some amnesty scheme for the workers who gave up the strike, he answered in the negative.

Incidentally, this was for the first time since the workers resorted to the strike that the management announced tough policy measures against them. There were speculations why the management dithered to take any direct action against the strikers even after taking the stand that the strike was illegal. Mr Khattar justified it saying that with the liberal attitude of the management, it was not possible to impose strict measures.

In the past three days, a division in the ranks of the workers has come to the fore. More than 100 workers, including a former president and vice-president of the Maruti Udyog Employees Union (MUEU), agreed with the management’s stand to sign a “good conduct undertaking” on part of the employees before resuming duty. The MUEU was, however, against the move. A former MUEU president had also got a criminal case registered against 48 persons, including the general secretary of the union, Mr Mathew Abraham, alleging that they had pelted stones on his house and threatened him.

Mr Khattar also reiterated that the management would not accept the union’s demand for reinstating some of the workers who had been dismissed during the strike.

Presently, there were 4,500 union members, out of which 1,167 had reported for duty. Out of a total of 5,700 employees, including more than a 1,000 apprentices, 3,600 were on duty. Yesterday, the company claimed to have produced about 1,100 cars. The average production was more than 1,200 cars each day. During the initial days of the agitation, the production had slumped to about 200 to 300 cars.

Meanwhile, former Chief Executive of Maruti Udyog RSSLM Bhaskarudu today advised both MUL management and agitating employees to sort out contentious issues like incentive and pension schemes amicably through dialogue while denying any role in the labour unrest in the company.

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