INDIA: Massive strike planned unless Maruti Suzuki dispute resolved
Northern India is bracing itself for massive industrial action tomorrow (14 June) unless the bitter trade union recognition dispute engulfing Maruti Suzuki is resolved.
The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) is threatening a mass walkout of 100,000 workers across 65 unions as talks to restore 11 sacked Maruti workers who were attempting to organise a formal union, continue into the night.
A mass sit-in involving thousands of Maruti workers is continuing at the Manesar plant in northern India, with a severe shortage of water leading to difficult conditions as ministers from the Haryana regional government attempt to thrash out a deal with the automaker.
"More than 100,000 workers will go on strike tomorrow (13 June) if this issue is not sorted out by tonight - they will go for a two-hour strike." AITUC national secretary Darshan Sachdev told just-auto from India.
"It is now ten days [strike] and they are sitting in [for] the last ten days in the plant without taking any bath, because there is not enough water. The canteen is [also] closed down."
Sachdev added the Haryana Minister of Labour was trying to broker a deal that would see the 11 dismissed workers reinstated followed by further discussions concerning union recognition.
The AITUC national secretary said Maruti wanted the Manesar workers to join another labour body at a sister plant, but that this was unacceptable.
"The bone of contention, the basis of conflict was the management in plant number one has its puppet union whose functions are being directed by an office of management," said Sachdev.
"We have a right to our freedom of association."
Sachdev added negotiations were now continuing into late evening, with indications from inside the plant that management was willing to take back the 11 workers.
Maruti Suzuki was not immediately available for comment.