The recent riots and violence at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant could impact long-term job creation and employment, according to the Indian Staffing Federation, a body comprising leading staffing companies in India.

Violent clashes between the management and workers, two weeks ago, left a senior executive dead, many injured and parts of the plant burned out, effectively closing the factory.

“The real issue is that if there is a backlash against contracting workers today, then it affects job creation adversely. If this trend continues, which we are hoping it will not, it could spread to all sectors,” said Basudev Mukherjee, Executive Director, Indian Staffing Federation (ISF).

The ISF, which represents companies having over 3.5 lakh temporary staff on its rolls, said in a release that the incident indicates "an extreme situation of non-existent social dialogue that leads to situations of extreme mistrust”.

Equal benefits

Additionally, it called for changes to the Contract Labour (Abolition and Regulation Act) 1970, stressing that a new paradigm in the approach to and definition of contract labour was necessary. “There are a certain key issues that we are looking at changing. Things such as equal pay for contractors if they do the same work as permanent employees and benefits such as PF and EPF,” said Mr. Mukherjee.

Pointing out the high standards of temporary staffing, the ISF said that professional staffing service providers ensured that each employee was covered under minimum wages, and, in most, cases were paid wages at par with the prevalent market range for the specific job.

Also, they saw to it that temp workers were covered under additional Group Mediclaim and personal accident insurance coverage, the ISF said.