Maruti, India's largest carmaker, stops production after workers attack managers


Indian workers shout slogans as they wave flags outside a Maruti-Suzuki vehicle plant at Manesar, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 14, 2011. 40 people were injured and one killed in clashes between the protesting workers and managers and executives on July 18, 2012 at the same plant.



Maruti Suzuki, India's largest carmaker, was forced to stop production at one of its plants on Wednesday after workers attacked managers and set fire to company property, Reuters reported.

A workers' union protest turned violent, leading to at least 40 managers and executives being sent to the hospital with injuries, said Maruti. The executives were meeting with the workers' union over a disciplinary issue with an employee, Maruti said.

Indian newspaper The Economic Times reported that workers of the morning shift began a sit-in protest, with the Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union demanding that a suspension order against a worker be revoked. The management of the company called in police, but by evening the protest had turned violent.

"To resolve the issue amicably, members of the senior management met the union. During the talks, the workers attacked the members of the senior management, executives and managers," it said, according to Reuters.

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According to The Economics Times, protesting workers burned down the administration wing of the plant and burned a few cars parked outside.

The Press Trust of India reported that at least one person was killed in the clashes at the Manesar plant. Gurgaon Police Commissioner K.K. Sindhu told PTI, "One person died of burn injuries in the incident."

"Work at the Manesar plant had to be stopped following the violence," said Maruti, according to PTI.

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The union gave a different version of events, saying that a supervisor made a casteist remark about a worker. Sarabjeet Singh, general secretary of the MSWU said, "When we opposed it, they misbehaved with us and suspended the worker," according to PTI.

The Times of India noted that last year, the car manufacturer saw three incidents of labor unrest at the Manesar plant, causing a production loss of about 83,000 units.

Reuters noted that Maruti Suzuki is controlled by Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp.

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