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Maruti employees strike work for six hours

indiaexpress.com, 03rd Oct 2000, 18.13 IST

Irked over the suspension of nine employees, the workers' union of Maruti Udyog Limited Tuesday went on a six-hour tools-down strike at its Gurgaon plant demanding revision of the incentive-linked production programme.

The union leaders have also decided to sit on a fast unto death to protest the suspension of the employees, Maruti Udyog Employees Union (MUEU) General Secretary Mathew Abraham said here Tuesday.

"The workers have decided to strike work for two hours on every shift today," Mr. Abraham said adding that the move is in protest of the suspension of MUL employees on charges of alleged misconduct.

The strike is likely to affect output by 25 per cent. Maruti's daily output is about 1,400 cars.

Mr. Abraham further said Heavy Industries Minister Manohar Joshi has at a recent meeting assured the workers that fresh round of negotiations for resolving the industrial unrest at MUL will commence soon.

Mr. Abraham said the employees will continue with the agitation and slogan shouting. "We are waiting for the negotiations but the agitation will continue."

The Maruti management had earlier appealed to the workers union to desist from protest demonstrations saying that such actions would "greatly damage the image of the company".

The company had further stated that such events would not only "take away customers from us giving advantage to our competitors but will also jeopardize the interests of the organization and the employees".

"We sincerely hope that you (union) will desist from taking any such undesirable steps and work towards strengthening the future of the company."

The union is demanding revision of the incentive-based production scheme and implementation of a new pension scheme. However, the management has stated that the company can ill-afford the cost burden of around Rs 600 million from the revised incentive scheme.