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Violence at Maruti's Manesar plant, production affected

Scuffle broke out after a supervisor allegedly made castiest remarks against a dalit worker

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Production at Maruti Suzuki India's is understood to have been affected following scuffle between workers and management employees this afternoon.

While the workers alleged that the scuffle broke out after a supervisor made castiest remarks against a dalit worker, management sources said some of the senior officials at the plant were severely beaten up.

"The supervisor made castiest remark against a permanent worker, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste category. When we opposed it, they misbehaved us even further and suspended the worker," Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union (MSWU) General Secretary Sarabjeet Singh told PTI.

While no immediate comments could be obtained from a Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) spokesperson, sources said there were violent incidents inside the plant and alleged that the workers also ransacked offices inside the premises.

A worker source, who also confirmed that there were violent fights between them and management employees, said: "Right now work is completely stopped and we are vacating the plant."

Singh claimed that the union has spoken to the management representatives, but with no positive outcome yet.

"There is tension prevailing at the plant. About 1,500 workers of the morning shift have not left the complex so far. If the management does not take back the worker, we may stop our work," Singh said.

Last year, MSI had witnessed three separate instances of labour unrest at its Manesar plant, which mainly produces the Swift, causing a total production loss of about 83,000 units.

In June 2011, a 13-day strike demanding the recognition of the erstwhile Maruti Suzuki Employees' Union (MSEU) had brought production to a standstill at the plant. It was followed by another standoff between the management and the workers on August 29 and had lasted for 33 days.

In October 2011, the company again saw its workers going on a 14-day strike that ended after the signing of a tripartite agreement between the management, workers and Haryana government representatives.

Following the settlement, a new body -- MSWU -- was formed after the office-bearers of MSEU had left the firm after taking a severance package of minimum Rs 16 lakh each.

MSWU is now led by Ram Mehar Singh as President and Sarabjeet Singh as General Secretary.

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