Partial resumption at Maruti's Manesar plant as talks expected to resume today

Strike-hit Maruti Suzuki, India's largest carmaker, announced on Monday that partial work had resumed at its Manesar plant, even as the Haryana government brokered talks between the unions and the management, expected to begin later in the day.

The company claimed that some operations have resumed at the Manesar plant, while production has also started at the Gurgaon plant. The Haryana government has convinced both sides to resume talks to bring an end to the festering dispute that has resulted in a production loss of over 50,000 cars worth about Rs1,500 crore.

Last week, the state government declared the strike at the Manesar plant as illegal and forced the workers – who were staging a sit-in inside the complex – out of the premise. Employees at Manesar have been on a strike since 1 October, days after they signed a settlement with the management.

The workers are demanding the reinstatement of about 1,200 casual workers and 44 permanent workers, who were suspended following the agreement with the management. Earlier, the workers at Manesar had gone on a 33-day strike, refusing to sign a good conduct agreement with the management.

Maruti Suzuki had acted tough, demanding that all employees at Manesar sign the good conduct bond. The management claimed that in the past, workers had deliberately damaged vehicles, leading to quality issues.

The stand-off at Manesar had led to employees at the nearby Gurgaon plant to also go on a strike. But after the latest strike by the Manesar workers, employees at two other factories – including Suzuki Powertrain, which builds engines for the company, and Suzuki Motorcyles – also joined the agitation.