Encouraged by support from Haryana labour authority and its parent Suzuki Motor Corp in the ongoing tussle with workers at the Manesar plant, Maruti Suzuki India is understood to be planning to recruit new permanent employees to replace the existing ones.
With no signs of an end to the standoff that started on August 29, the company has decided to give the current workers time till Monday to sign the “good conduct bond” before replacing them with new workers.
“From Tuesday onwards the company will start hiring trained technicians, who will be on the permanent rolls, to replace the current workers who refuse to sign the bond,” a source close to the management said.
When contacted MSI spokesperson declined to comment.
Production has been severely hit at the first plant in Manesar since August 29 when the management prevented workers from entering the unit without signing a ‘good conduct bond’ after alleged “sabotage” and deliberate quality compromise on some cars.
The bond required the workers to declare that they would “not resort to go slow, intermittent stoppage of work, stay-in-strike, work-to-rule, sabotage or otherwise indulge in any activity, which would hamper the normal production in the factory”.
So far, 81 workers have signed the bond but majority of them have refused to sign it. MSI has about 2,500 workers at the first plant in Manesar and around 1,000 of them are permanent.
During the first two days of the stand-off, MSI dismissed five permanent workers. In addition, it suspended 26 permanent workers and discontinued the services of another 18 trainees on charges of sabotage and causing quality problems in cars.
Last evening, Haryana Labour Commissioner Satwanti Ahlawat said that the good conduct bond, which the company management is insisting its workers at Manesar plant to sign, is as per rules.
“Whatever the bond that the management (MSI) is asking its workers to sign is as per rule and workers will have to sign it,” she told PTI, adding the state labour department was persuading the workers to rejoin work as soon as possible.
Besides, MSI’s parent Suzuki Motor Corp (SMC) has also stood behind the company with Chairman Osamu Suzuki ruling out any compromise on discipline.
Suzuki had told representatives of Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU), the elected union of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) that the management of the Indian arm would not accept any indiscipline in the company.
“Indiscipline is not tolerated... not in Japan, not in India. It is never in the interest of any company and its people,” Mr. Suzuki said.