Fri, 14 Oct 2011 08:46:39 GMT

Maruti workers hit by double whammy

On the seventh day of their strike, the Maruti Suzuki workers’ unions have been hit by a double whammy. While the Haryana labour department today declared the strike illegal, the Punjab & Haryana High Court directed the workers to vacate the company's Manesar premises immediately.

Maruti workers hit by double whammy

The only silver lining for the workers was the high court's decision to refrain from terming the protest as 'illegal'. The court also directed the Gurgaon police commissioner to provide the agitating workers with a place to lodge their protests and ensure that workers who wanted to work in the Manesar unit was not attacked by those on strike.

With no headway in the seven-day standoff between the workers and the management, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) had petitioned the high court to declare the strike as illegal.

An MSIL official, while confirming the development, said: "The company has asserted that only after the plant premises are vacated, it would consider any talks on the issue. No talks are possible as long as the striking workers are inside the factory premises."

D L Sachdeva, general secretary, All India Trade Union Congress, said the court has issued a notice to the workers and they were waiting for a copy of the order before deciding their future course of action. "The court has asked the workers to present their stand before the court on November 29 and give the reasons for their protest. We will prepare a reply once we get a copy of the court order."

Suber Singh Yadav, president, Suzuki Powertrain India Union, said the workers had initiated talks with the labour department of Haryana. "We told the labour department officials today that we want to directly talk with the management of the company. The issue can only be resolved when the management and workers talk to each other."

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