Maruti sacks 500 workers; production from Aug 21
New Delhi, August 16
The company plans to restart production at the Manesar factory on August 21, a day after the Chairman of its parent company, Suzuki Motor Corp (SMC), Osamu Suzuki arrives on a week-long visit to India.
The Manesar factory has been under lockout ever since July 21 last, three days after the violence hit the plant, costing the company tens of millions of dollars in lost output. While declaring the lockout, the company had said that the security of its employees was paramount and would begin production only when it feels things were under control.
The company has also decided not to take back any of the contract workers without proper scrutiny which would start on September 2 and of those taken back, only 20 per cent would form the contract workers group, whose employment would vary as per “market demands”.
As part of providing a safe atmosphere to workers at the Manesar plant, an unprecedented security cover would be provided for them which will begin at their homes and stay with them throughout their workday.
The Haryana Government has decided to deploy 500 Rapid Action Force armed personnel to guard the factory of which 200 would permanently remain inside while the remaining 300 would be deployed on the factory’s periphery.
The state government would provide another 40 security personnel, who will accompany workers to and fro their homes and the MSIL itself has hired 100 of its own security of which 25 ex-servicemen would be armed and provide protection to company executives.
Addressing the media, alongside MSIL Managing Director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi, company Chairman R.C. Bhargava said, “We plan to lift the lockout from August 21 and resume production at Manesar” adding, “the company had served service termination notices to over 500 regular workers and the process was still underway”.
He said contract workers will no longer work in the production line in Manesar and that the process of converting contract workers into permanent staff will begin on September 2.
“We will not hire contract workers from contractors. Contract workers will be taken as permanent and we will reduce the number of contract workers gradually. We will start with 150 cars a day,” said Bhargava. Total booking for Swift and Dzire models currently stand at about 1,20,000.
Before shutting down, the MSIL had a work force of over 3300 workers which included 1528 regular workers and 1869 contract employees. Besides, about 700 managerial people were also working at the plant.
Of the regular workers, as of today, 510 regular workers have been sacked and the number would rise to 550 by the next week. For the 1869 contract workers the scrutiny would begin from September 2 and only those found not involved in the violence would be taken back in the permanent workers category.
The permanent workers, who have been sacked, will be given three months’ pay plus 15 days’ pay for every completed year of service as severance pay. Their services have been terminated for violating the “good conduct” agreement signed last year.
Bhargava said the production would start in a phased manner with initially 300 workers starting work on the automated divisions of the plant, but rest of the regular workers would also start getting salary even though they would come back in phases.
He, however, could not give a date by when the production would reach its optimal level of 1700 units per day. Bhargava added that the damage to Manesar plant was less than Rs 10 crore due to the violence. The plant will start making the Swift and DZire models and production would be ramped up subsequently.