Uncertainty dogs Maruti Suzuki plants in Haryana

While workers at two Maruti Suzuki units in Gurgaon called off their strike on Friday night, there is still uncertainty as to whether India's largest car-maker will be able to resume operations at its Manesar plant from Sunday.

''Maruti Suzuki will resume production at its Manesar plants on Sunday, and at the Gurgaon plants on Monday,'' the company said in a statement. The company, however, insisted that workers at the Manesar plant will have to sign the good-conduct bond.

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd has been facing labour problems at its two plants in Haryana for quite some time. Production of its fast-selling models – Swift, SX4 and A-star are manufactured at the Manesar plant – was affected following the strike at Manesar. Nearly 60 workers have been suspended or sacked since trouble broke out towards the end of August at the plant.

The management has asserted that it will not take back employees who have been dismissed or suspended for indiscipline, sabotage and for deliberately causing quality problems in its cars. Workers signing the good-conduct bond have to declare that they will not resort to go-slow, intermittent stoppage of work, stay-in-strike, work-to-rule, sabotage or otherwise indulge in any activity that could hamper normal production.

The management has also refused to negotiate with the striking workers at the Manesar plant and not accepted any of their demands.

On Wednesday, workers at Suzuki Powertrain and Suzuki Motorcycle India went on a strike in support of their colleagues at the Manesar plant. However, following talks on Friday, arranged by the Haryana government's labour department, the unions called off the stir. According to an official of the Suzuki Powertrain India Employees Union, the management had agreed to their demands and had promised that the issue of a wage settlement would also be met.