MSI sacks 25 more workers; tension grows at Manesar

On October 9, the company had dismissed 10 workers and five trainees, while another 10 were suspended.

Last Updated: Nov 14, 2011, 08:59 AM IST

Manesar: Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) on Sunday sacked 25 more workers at its Manesar plant, as those on strike continued to occupy the premises defying an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
"Twenty five more workers have been dismissed today. These include three trainees," a company official told reporters.

On October 9, the company had dismissed 10 workers and five trainees, while another 10 were suspended. Already 44 workers of the plant are on the list of suspension.

Nearly 2,000 striking workers continued to occupy the Manesar plant, while the main plant of the firm at Gurgaon also remained shut.

Tensions intensified at the plant as the police said it might have to evict workers forcibly.

"We have repeatedly asked the striking workers to vacate the factory premises. We are awaiting their response but we are not ruling out evicting them forcibly," Gurgaon Police Commissioner S S Deswal said.
He said the police have already cut water and food supplies to the workers who are inside the plant.

In the afternoon, the police entered the factory premises asking the workers to vacate.

While the striking workers claimed about 1,500 police personnel had entered the plant, Deswal said: "We have sufficient number of personnel."

In a related development, the union of Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd (SPIL) claimed that 18 workers have been sacked by the company.

"The management has not informed us individually but has pasted an order on the notice board saying 18 of us are terminated," Suzuki Powertrain India Employees Union (SPIEU) President Sube Singh Yadav said. Workers at Maruti's Manesar plant have been demanding reinstatement of 1,200 casual workers. They have also been demanding that 44 permanent workers, who were suspended after an agreement signed to end the 33-day stand-off on October 1, should also be taken back.

Workers at SPIL, which supplies engines and transmissions to MSI, and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd have been on strike in support of colleagues at MSI since October 7.

SPIEU and the rebel body of MSI's Manesar plant – Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU), also said that they will challenge the High Court order in the Supreme Court.

He said the workers have decided to defy the court order and will sit inside the plant unless forcefully evicted, adding that food supplies to the workers have been stopped since 7 am this morning.

Yesterday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court passed an order that there would be no sit-in strike within 100 meters of the premises of Maruti Suzuki's factory at Manesar.

"We are talking to lawyers and we are going challenge the high court order in the Supreme Court," Yadav said.

MSEU President Sonu Gujjar said the worker's body at MSI's Manesar plant would also challenge the High Court order.

Supporting the workers, AITUC Secretary D L Sachdev said the union "met with the divisional commissioner of the region asking him to initiate dialogue between the management and the workers. We want the matter to be resolved amicably, without using any force."