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Friday, March 14, 2014

By John Andrew

Maruti to hire temporary workers from Haryana for Gujarat Plant

Maruti's mercurial labour union is demanding that workers at the proposed Gujarat factory be chosen from the temporary workforce in Haryana, instead of local recruits from the state. The demand, that has been conveyed to the company's managing director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa, is expected to put further pressure on the company that is already battling investor ire over the decision to hand over the new plant to parent Suzuki. "We have around 4,000 temporary staff and these should be the first ones to get an opportunity at the Gujarat plant," said Kuldeep Jhangu, general secretary of the Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU) that controls the company's key Gurgaon plant. 
 
Jhangu said the temporary workers at Maruti are from various states and should have the first right to any new employment opportunity. "We have workers from various places like Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. They should get a chance," Jhangu told TOI. He said that having experienced workers in the new plant would benefit the company. "Please remember that these workers are technically sound and mature. Their experience will be an asset for the new factory." Asked about employment for locals in Gujarat, Jhangu said they should be inducted as temporary workers in the beginning. "They should be first trained and only then come up for regularization." The demand by the labour union will be difficult to meet by the Maruti management as it plans to employ locals in the new plant, something also sought by the Gujarat government. SuzukiBSE -0.67 % chairman Osamu Suzuki had also highlighted the need to employ locals in an interaction with the media earlier. Jhangu said this is a "key demand" of the union and it will make all efforts to get it implemented. However, he did not elaborate further. 
 
Maruti Celerio Pictures
 
Labour relations within Maruti have never been very healthy, though the Gurgaon union has not created any major trouble so far. The company had to face severe labour protests at the Manesar plant in 2012 that resulted in violent clashes, production outages and death of a senior management official. The company has already formed various committees to ensure harmonious labour-management relations and will not like to disturb the calm. Asked about the investors' complaints against Maruti's decision to hand over the new plant to Suzuki, Jhangu said the union does not find anything wrong with the decision. "It should be a good move for Maruti as we will not be making the investments in Gujarat, but rather these will be made by Suzuki." 
 
 Source: Economic  Times

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