Hopes of Maruti settlement recede after agitators' arrest

The labour trouble at Maruti Suzuki India's car plants in Haryana is likely to get worse before it gets better. On Monday, talks between the workers and management brokered by the state administration failed to make any headway.

Relations deteriorated further after three workers at Maruti's Manesar plant – the hub of the agitation – were arrested late on Sunday night and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days after a court rejected their bail plea.

The management accused the three representatives of the yet unrecognised Maruti Suzuki Employees Union – MSEU president Sonu Gujjar, general secretary Shiv Kumar and executive committee member Ravinder Kumar – of spearheading an attack on a group of supervisors on the factory premises.

Hopes of an early compromise receded farther after the labour department of Haryana distanced itself from the negotiations following the Monday impasse, saying it would not be involved in the talks any more.

Haryana labour commissioner Satwanti Ahlawat told Business Standard the state government would not be involved in any further talks. ''Both the parties have to now approach the labour court,'' she said.

State labour minister Shiv Charan Lal Sharma also said this was the most likely course ahead. ''I am in Chandigarh and will meet the chief minister for his view on the matter,'' he added.