Maruti To Restart Production In Manesar Plant Next Week: Report

  on August 15 2012 8:00 AM

India's leading carmaker Maruti Suzuki will restart production at its Manesar plant early next week, Reuters reported quoting the Nikkei business daily.

The production at Maruti's largest plant in India was stopped in July after a manager was killed and scores injured when a section of the workers set fire to a part of the plant.

The production halt at the plant has affected the sales as the stocks of Maruti's two most popular car brands - Swift and DZire - have dried out. Manesar plant accounts for one-third of Maruti's car production capacity in the country and is the only plant that makes the Swift, which is the most popular car in its segment.

It would take almost two months for production at the plant to return to the pre-shutdown levels as the company had to undertake safety measures and recruit new workers, the Nikkei reported an unnamed Maruti official as saying.  

"Maruti plans to enlist about 500 guards to help bolster security at the plant, which will restart in stages beginning with welding and press operations," the report said.

"This announcement did not come from us, so we are unable to comment on its validity," said Ei Mochizuki, a spokesman for Maruti's Japanese parent Suzuki Motor Corp, Reuters reported.

The Manesar plant has witnessed much unrest between the management and the workers' union in the past two years. The production was stopped at least three times in the last one year.

The recent clashes claimed the life of Maruti's senior HR official who was beaten up and left to burn to death. Several other officials were also injured. Parts of the plant were also set ablaze by the rioters. Around 90 persons, mostly the workers at the plant were arrested for murder and rioting.

More than 2000 workers are still absconding, fearing arrest. The Maruti workers union has blamed the management for its anti-worker and inhuman treatment while the management has accused external forces and the union for triggering the riot.

Maruti has indicated that though it will not sack all its workers, those who are guilty of rioting will have to go. The company has said it will reduce its reliance on the contract workers.

The violence at the plant has triggered a debate on India's rigid labor laws, which the industry says is forcing them to depend on contract workers. 

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