NEW DELHI: The 13-day-old strike at Maruti has ended on Thursday as late night parleys, in the presence of the Haryana government, saw the management and strikers going for a truce to end the stalemate. The settlement, it is understood, makes no mention of the contentious issue of formation of a separate union at the plant at Manesar and also over the entry of outsiders in the new union that may take charge at the plant. Official sources told TOI that an agreement had been reached and that production would start soon. However, it is believed that there wo uld be no production on Friday and it will be taken as a rest day. DL Sachdev, national secretary of All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) that had been rallying behind the 500-odd strikers, said the proposed settlement makes "no mention" about formation of a separate union at Manesar. "Yes, the strike is over. Formation of a union is the right of workers and has been guaranteed by the trade union act. The settlement also makes no mention over the entry of outsiders in the new union. If I want to have an honorary member or need support from outside, I can do so legally under the trade union act," Sachdev told TOI. The management appears to have bent backwards to accommodate most of the demands of the union leaders. It also agreed to take back the 11 strikers who had been sacked for indiscipline after the break-out of the strike on June 4. An enquiry committee, however, will be set up to look into their roles. The management promised that the enquiry will not be vindictive in dealing with the matter. The management, however, said it will deduct wages for 13 days of strike and another 13 days as penalty. Also, it has given a two-month-long observation period to its workers, specifying that no indiscipline will be tolerated in the plant. "Failing this, the salary deduction will be increased to three days of no-work-no-pay equivalent to each day of strike," the sources said.
The strike had crippled production at the crucial Manesar plant that manufactures key Maruti models like Swift hatchback and Dzire and SX4 sedans. The daily production at the plant is about 1200 cars and the strike had started impacting the company's operations with waiting lists on the models getting longer. It is estimated that the production loss to Maruti from the stir is close to Rs 600 crore, and the figure would be much higher if the losses to the ancillaries are also taken into account. The matter had escalated over the formation of a separate union (which though is still unregistered) at Manesar by a section of workers who alleged that their interests were not being met by the existing and long-running union Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU). The new union, Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU), said it is better placed to handle issues related to workers at Manesar and strictly objected to any interference by MUKU at the new plant. And as the issue ran for close to two weeks, it created a scare at the Gurgaon-Manesar belt as office-bearers of other unions pledged support, egged on by central trade unions like AITUC, CITU and Hind Mazdoor Sabha.