It was only last year when Maruti Suzuki incurred huge losses due to a strike at its Manesar plant. The 59 day strike by the workers aimed at establishing an independent union lead to a production loss of 80,000 cars and revenue loss of more than Rs. 2,500 crores. This time situation took a much gruesome state. A tussle between a worker and one of the managerial staff here led to a clash between the two classes, taking life of one of the workers and leaving 40 others injured.
As per the statement given by the workers, the fight started after a supervisor made some derogatory remarks against the worker. The worker in return misbehaved and was suspended. Maruti Suzuki Workers’ Union demanded an immediate revocation of the suspension order and prevented the management from leaving the premises. Work was stalled and both the permanent and on-contract workers started a sit-in protest. The management informed the police of the impending violence and by evening the protest turned violent. The workers burnt down the administrative wing of the plant along with few cars parked outside.
“After suspending the worker who had misbehaved with his supervisor on the shop-floor today, the MSWU functionaries insisted that company officials should not leave the premises unless the issue was resolved. When management executives tried to negotiate, the workers turned violent and many managerial staff were injured.” a senior executive said.
Till the issue was resolved, the union wanted the management to stay back in the premises. But as the managerial staff started to negotiate, the situation turned violent and both the workers and half a dozen managerial staff were injured. One person died of the burn injuries during the clash. The police arrived and cane charged to bring the situation under control. More than 3,000 workers were evicted from the site. The incident led to considerable damage of both human and material resources. The plant would be shut today as well. Any halt in production would be a huge trouble for the company as the previous year too the company incurred $500 million worth of production loss due to the long strike. Right after the news came in yesterday, the shares in Maruti Suzuki dropped by more than 5 percent.