Maruti strike ends, workers to resume duty from Monday

Striking workers at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant in Haryana finally agreed to sign a good conduct bond and resume work from Monday, after talks brokered by the Haryana government succeeded in breaking the month-long impasse.

Maruti Suzuki, India's largest automaker, said it would conditionally take back 18 trainees who had been suspended, but reiterated that the 44 regular employees against whom disciplinary action had been initiated, would remain under suspension. It will also not pay workers for the days they were on strike.

The official Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union represented Manesar workers at the talks, as the management has refused to recognise and deal with the new Maruti Suzuki Employees Union.

Work at the Manesar plant came to a halt on 29 August after workers refused to sign a good-conduct bond that the company had sought. The management accused some of the workers of indiscipline and of having caused quality issues at the plant.

Workers wanting to rejoin duty had to sign the bond stating they would not resort to go-slow, intermittent stoppage of work, stay-in, strike, work-to-rule, sabotage or indulge in activities that would affect normal production.

Employees at two other Maruti units in Haryana - Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd - also went on a two-day strike in support of their colleagues at Manesar. However, the management's refusal to succumb to pressure - and its threat to set up a new plant in Gujarat, instead of Haryana - saw the state government intervene and bring the two sides to negotiate.