The issue of “mass dismissal” of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL) workers was raised in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, with members asking the Union government to order a fair probe into the violence at the carmaker’s Manesar plant in which one senior executive was killed.

Raising the issue during zero hour, Tapan Kumar Sen of the CPI (M) said the mass summary dismissal of workers was “an act of vindictive and retaliatory action by the management of Maruti Suzuki, unfortunately, in connivance with the law enforcement authorities.”

Mr. Sen charged the management with threatening to terminate more workers. By snatching away their livelihood, it had given “capital punishment” to the more than 500 workers without them being proved guilty. “While only 54 workers have been named in the FIR for the violence that took place in the Maruti factory, as many as 500 workers have been dismissed,” he said.

“Making such large-scale dismissal, as per the Central law, requires that [the] management must get prior permission of the appropriate government, which in this case is the State government. I would ask the Central government to enquire whether the State government permitted such large-scale vindictive dismissal without proving the guilt [of the dismissed workers].”

Sanjiv Kumar of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha demanded a CBI probe into the violence at the Manesar plant and sought adequate compensation for the family of the deceased executive. He also demanded amendment to the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 so that such incidents did not recur.

Meanwhile, Left trade unions criticised Maruti Suzuki’s decision and demanded the Haryana government’s intervention to ensure it is reversed. “We demanded a comprehensive independent enquiry into the entire incident, including the antecedents, to punish the guilty as well as the provocateurs behind the violence. But, instead the State government launched a witch-hunt, targeting the workers and began mass scale arrests,” said CITU general secretary Tapas Sen.

AITUC’s Gurudas Dasgupta termed the decision “draconian” and asked the Centre to ensure the reinstatement of the workers. If the government did not intervene, the union would stage a march to Parliament along with workers.

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