Maruti Suzuki to lift lock-out at Manesar plant on 21 August

Maruti Suzuki India Limited today announced that the lock-out at its Manesar facility in Haryana will be lifted on 21 August 2012, exactly a month after it shut down the plant.

''The re-start of Production at the Manesar Plant would be gradual and will be taken up in phases,'' the company said in a release.

To start with, the plant would turn out 150 cars a day and production would be ramped up subsequently. This includes the Swift and Dzire models.

Maruti Suzuki, which has terminated the services of 500 of its permanent employees for engaging in violence at the plant, will also begin regularising contract workers from 2 September. However, the company will decide if they are fit to be taken on as permanent staff.

The company declared a lock-out at the Manesar plant on 21 July 2012, following large-scale violence by workmen on 18 July 2012. In the violence a general manager, Awanish Kumar Dev, was burnt to death inside the plant and 96 supervisors and managers were injured and hospitalised.

The company had since vowed to restart production only after ensuring the safety and security of all of its employees.

The police have arrested a number of workers, including the 12 union leaders, and started legal processes to bring the guilty to book. More arrests may follow the police investigations, which are continuing.

Maruti Suzuki said the company would work closely with the government to ensure that those guilty of causing the death of Awanish Dev and perpetrating violence are brought to book.

The state government, the release noted, has decided to take a number of steps to enhance the security of MSIL employees.

These include:

  • Setting up a Rapid Action Force of 500 police personnel headed by a senior police officer near the Manesar area. In each shift 100 of them will be in the Maruti Suzuki Manesar factory.
  • 40 Personal Security Officers (PSOs) have been provided for the safety of managers, supervisors, and where necessary the workers.
  • Security arrangements have been made at the residences of the employees.

MSIL has created a special force of 100 security guards, including ex-servicemen, at its Manesar plant in addition to the existing security force, to enhance security.

We believe that these measures, and the continuing efforts of the Haryana government and its police force, to investigate, arrest and prosecute the criminals involved in the violence on 18 July will create a safe environment for work to resume.

''Maruti Suzuki is grateful to the local community for their consistent support and expects that local leaders will play a very important part in the creation and maintenance of a safe working environment,'' the company said in a release today.

Based on internal investigations, the company said, it has identified those workers who were involved in the violence and in whom the company has lost confidence.

The company has issued notices dispensing with the services of about 500 of the 1,528 permanent employees at the plant. In all, there were 3,300 workers at the Manesar factory.

Maruti Suzuki said that only a few months back, following a mutually agreed settlement, these workers had signed a good conduct undertaking. ''These workers will not be taken back. This list of workers includes the persons arrested by the police and who are likely to face criminal proceedings, and are also in our list.''

''If in the course of our enquiries or police investigations, it appears that more workers were involved in the violence, action will be taken against them as and when required,'' it added.

''In accordance with the declared policy to not employ contract workers provided by contractors, on the direct production line, the company has started the process of directly hiring them. The schedule of recruitment has been communicated to all the existing contract workers through the contract agencies and recruitment would start from 2 September 2012,'' the release said.