INDIA: Maruti Suzuki industrial relations thaw as strikers return to work
Striking Maruti Suzuki staff have returned to work at its Manesar plant following yet another walkout, although union sources claim 30 employees remain suspended.
The bitter dispute - that has seen strikes and sit-ins take place sporadically since June this year - has hinged on a combination of union recognition and alleged sabotage - but for now at least peace appears to have broken out with around 7,000 workers returning to duty.
"Everyone has gone back to work, but in the main plant 30 workers have been kept under suspension," All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) national secretary Darshan Sachdev told just-auto from India. "Under Indian suspension, they are employees but they can not come on duty.
"If they are taken back, generally peace will prevail, but if their services are terminated, this will send a negative signal. We disagree with the charges - management is trying [an] unnecessary hue and cry."
Despite the AITUC's view, the national secretary did concede "there may have been some problems," although insisted the inquiry would "take its own time."
As well as the Manesar plant, strikes have also occurred at Maruti powertrain and motorcycle factories.
Workers attempted to stage sit-ins, but were thwarted by an Indian High Court judgement that decreed instead strikers could only use this form of protest 100m from the wall of the Maruti premises.
"There is some softening of attitude of management, but we will have to see how it comes up," said Sachdev.
Maruti Suzuki was not immediately available for comment but has previously indicated there had been acts of sabotage with staff asked to sign a good conduct bond.
The Manesar plant produces around 700 Swift models per day.