Dispute: Maruti’s Manesar plant rolls out 1,200 cars per day
PRODUCTION at a Maruti Suzuki plant was halted today as India’s top carmaker locked out its workers, demanding they sign a “good conduct” pledge following alleged sabotage, the company said.
The Japanese-controlled company said it had asked all workers to sign what it called a “good conduct” bond, promising they would not sabotage production, resort to go-slow tactics or otherwise hamper output at its Manesar plant.
“Production is right now at a stop,” said a company spokesman, who declined to be named, citing company policy.
It was the third dispute to affect production at Maruti Suzuki in three months.
The 2,000 workers were not being allowed back into the factory, one of two operated by Maruti in Haryana, until they had signed the pledge, the company said.
The spokesman said 10 workers had been suspended and five fired last week for “sabotaging production and deliberately causing quality problems” at the Manesar plant, which rolls out about 1,200 vehicles every day in two shifts.
The production problems were discovered during quality-control checks and included doors falling off and dents in car bodies, according to the firm.
“The situation had reached a stage where it was directly harming customers’ interest and trust,” the spokesman told reporters.
The Maruti spokesman said some workers had signed the good conduct pledge but he could not immediately say how many.
In June, 11 days’ worth of production was lost, costing the company nearly $93m (£56.74m), after workers downed tools demanding recognition of a new union and the reinstatement of dismissed workers.
In July, production was again halted for a day due to a labour dispute at the plant.
Maruti sells nearly half of all new cars in India.
But it reported earlier this month that sales had fallen by 25.3 per cent in July - its sharpest ever monthly fall - from a year earlier, hit by high interest rates which pushed up the cost of consumer car loans.
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