Haryana Labour and Employment Minister Shiv Charan Lal Sharma today accused the striking workers at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant of violating the agreement signed with company management that led to end of over a month-long standoff last week.

“Workers are moving away from the pact signed with Maruti Suzuki management as a result of which the standoff ended,” Mr. Sharma told PTI on Saturday.

On October 1, the workers at the plant agreed to sign an agreement with the management that led to the end of the standoff that began on August 29.

As per the agreement, MSI agreed to conditionally take back 18 trainees who were suspended. However, it refused to take back 44 regular employees against whom disciplinary action was taken and who remain under suspension.

The workers, in turn, had agreed to sign the ‘good conduct bond’, which required them 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”.

Mr. Sharma rued that workers were again refusing to work and said it was unjustified when the matter was resolved after signing the agreement.

Asked about employees’ demand of taking back casual workers, he said that casual workers would be absorbed as soon as work operations at the plant normalise.

“The work at Manesar plant has been hit due to month long strike...management will be taking back casual employees as soon as production gets expanded,” he said.

A team of Haryana Labour department on Friday met workers at the Manesar plant and assured them that the remaining casual labourers would be absorbed by October 14 in a phased manner.

Workers at the Manesar plant went on a strike on Friday afternoon demanding that their colleagues, who are on contract and left out in the pact that last week ended the 33-day-long stand-off, be taken back.

They are also demanding that the 44 permanent workers who have been suspended should also be taken back and no action should be taken against them.

The stir was supported by workers in different factories belonging to various companies at the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt, including Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd, Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd and Satyam Auto.

A senior official of the Haryana Labour department said that there were 1,300 contractual workers at Maruti’s Manesar plant, out of which 300 are working.

Another senior official of the department pointed out, on the condition of anonymity, that an abrupt discontinuation of transportation services by management for workers did not go down well with the workers, which may have become a triggering point for the strike.

“Workers saw management’s move of withdrawing bus services for workers as revenge taken by the company for hampering production due to workers’ strike,” the official said.

Workers have been availing bus service between Manesar and Gurgaon for the last six years for the transportation service which was discontinued on October 3 by the company.

When contacted, a company spokesperson said: “Yes, we have withdrawn bus facility at Manesar. Running this facility or its withdrawal is a procedural matter. But it cannot justify workers’ claim that this is an issue for going on a strike.”

The labour department even asked the management not to withdraw bus service facility for workers, keeping in mind the sensitivity of the situation.

The department has also persuaded the management to restart the transportation service for workers in an attempt to ease the situation.

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