Manesar (Haryana), Aug.21: Villagers celebrated as Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker, reopened its Manesar factory in Haryana on Tuesday.
It maybe recalled that the plant was shutdown for about a month after workers attacked the management over several issues, including poor working conditions and poor pay.
The lockout cost Maruti more than 250 million dollars in lost output.
Residents of Dhana village distributed sweets and celebrated the reopening of the plant.
Heads of various village councils in the vicinity of factory had also come to meet the senior management and assured them of the safety of the employees of the factory.
Moolchand, a village head, said: “I am happy that our children got jobs because of Maruti Suzuki. We are all very thankful to them. We will support them fully. If Maruti moves out from here, then we will be finished. That is why we have distributed sweets to celebrate the reopening of the plant. We are very pleased.”
Samundar, another resident, said that the village councils in the area had decided that they would not allow the outsiders to disrupt peace in the area.
“We have about 100 village councils here and we all unanimously decided that we will support Maruti Suzuki and that we will not allow any outside elements to create disturbances like that happened on the 18th of July. The administration is also supporting us,” said Samundar
With scores of police officers guarding the factory’s main gate and more than 1,200 deployed elsewhere around the site, a skeleton staff began limited production at the plant where months of labour unrest erupted in mob violence on July 18.
The carmaker has sacked 500 workers from the plant in northern India and abandoned its policy of hiring contract workers after an investigation into the riot. The violence had thrown the spotlight on India’s decades-old labour laws that some industry groups say tie their hands.
Shares in Maruti, a unit of Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp, rose as much as 1.7 percent in early Mumbai trade. The stock has been down almost 4 percent since the closure.
Maruti will start producing 150 cars a day, less than 10 percent of its average daily output before the July 18 violence that killed a manager and injured more than 100 people, Chairman R C Bhargava said last week.
The restart at the 550,000 vehicles-a-year plant, which builds its best-selling Swift hatchback, comes just in time for India’s festival season, when people typically make expensive purchases.
The company lost $500 million in production last year because of labour unrest.
India’s labour laws make it difficult for big companies to fire permanent workers so instead, companies hire contractors, to the anger of the unions. (ANI)