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Maruti's new union to put wage demand in 15 days

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The newly-registered workers' union at the country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar facility will place its demands for wage revision within next 15 days.

The new body— Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union (MSWU)— has received its registration number from the Haryana Labour Department this week and the company has also decided to recognise it for any future negotiations at the plant.

MSWU, which was formed after the office-bearers of the erstwhile Maruti Suzuki Employees' Union (MSEU) had left the firm after taking a severance package of minimum Rs 16 lakh each, will now be led under Ram Mehar Singh as President and Sarabjeet Singh as General Secretary.

"As we have got our registration number, now we will officially start our function from tomorrow. We are going to discuss all issues related to the plant and as a first step, we will put forward our demands within next 15 days regarding wage revision, which is likely to take place next month," Sarabjeet Singh told PTI.

He, however, declined to share details such as how much hike the union will ask from the management saying this will be discussed in due course of time.

The newly-formed union is independent and it is completely non-affiliated to any political trade union, he added.

Singh claimed currently a permanent worker at Manesar plant receives a total remuneration of around Rs 18,000 every month that includes an incentive of about Rs 8,000.

When contacted to enquire if the company will recognise the new union, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chairman R C Bhargava said: "Of course, we will recognise them. In fact, we helped the workers to get it registered."

The company will engage MSWU in all future workers related issues at the Manesar plant, he added.

Asked if the company will take on-board while taking any decision on the impending wage revision, Bhargava said: "Normally they (a recognised union) are included in wage negotiations, but I am not aware of this yet. Our HR people will follow it and do the needful."

Last year, MSI witnessed three 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 MSEU brought production to a standstill at the plant. It was followed by another standoff between the management and the workers on August 29 and lasted for 33 days.

In October, 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.

First Published: Wed, February 29 2012. 16:24 IST