Maruti strike called off

The fortnight-long strike at the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) was called off on Friday morning, following talks brokered by the Haryana government.

MSI has agreed to reinstate 64 permanent workers, who had been suspended, but 30 more workers accused of having indulged in severe indiscipline, will remain suspended. About 1,200 casual workers, who had been thrown out earlier, would also be reinstated by the company.

India's largest carmaker has been facing a series of labour unrest at its plants in Haryana for the past few months. Under pressure from the central government, the labour department of the Haryana government has been trying to bring together the two sides.

 The department initiated talks on Wednesday (See Hectic parleys on to resolve Maruti dispute), which extended for two days resulting in a resolution on Friday morning.

The industrial unrest of the past few weeks has seen MSI's market-share dip to a low of 39 per cent in July, and 41 per cent in the July-September quarter, the lowest in 10 years. The strike at the Manesar and Gurgaon plants of the company have affected production of its popular models including Swift, resulting in backlog of over 100,000 for it.

The two plants have a combined production of 4,000 cars daily, but the strike has crippled both the manufacturing units.
MSI's stock has also taken a beating on the bourses. But following the agreement on Friday, the stock flared on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The scrip, which had peaked at Rs1,600 in November last year, had hit a 52-week low of Rs1,010 earlier this week. It was quoting around Rs1,100 at noon on Friday.