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The brass at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) is set to meet on Monday to decide on resuming operations at the violence-hit Manesar factory.
While the company declined to officially specify a timeline for commencing production at the facility, sources in the know said the lockout was likely to be lifted next week.
S Y Siddiqui, chief operating officer (HR, finance, IT and COSL) said, “We will receive an overall assessment from the special investigation team (of the police) on Monday. Our internal report, based on statements of injured employees, would also come in, which would provide us with information as to who all were involved in the incident. We are assessing the readiness of the plant to resume operations. A decision will be taken on Monday.”
While Siddiqui declined to specify any plan the company was putting in place to constitute a workforce to start operations at Manesar, he said work was on to repair the shop-floor area. “The priority is to do that first and then the administrative offices, so the production work can start.” Industry experts estimate the damage caused to Maruti Suzuki’s facilities in the violence and arson on July 18 at Rs 525 crore.
The company had declared an indefinite lockout on July 21, after the violent standoff between the workers and the management on July 18 which had resulted in the killing of a senior management executive and injuries to around 100 officials. The company had said operations would not resume till the investigation into the episode was completed and corrective measures put in place to prevent any recurrence.
The Haryana Police has arrested 114 workers, including the president and general secretary of the workers union. State police chief Ranjeev Singh Dalal had met MSIL Managing Director Shinzo Nakanishi on August 1 and urged him to restart work at the facility, assuring adequate security cover. The promise given was for a three-tier security system — in the Manesar area, on the MSIL premises and to individuals. A battalion of 550 personnel has been posted at IMT Manesar.
Daily revenue losses due to the lockout are Rs 70 crore, with the company’s vendors losing another Rs 56 crore daily. The Manesar unit manufactured 1,600 vehicles every day, 45 per cent of the overall production at Maruti Suzuki. The unit manufactures best-sellers Swift and DZire and employed around 3,000 workers. The company had hinted it might hire fresh employees at the Gurgaon facility and shift some experienced management executives to form a nucleus and re-commence production at Manesar.