Depressed and unable to bear the suspense over his future, a 30-year-old suspended employee of Ford India car company committed suicide by consuming poison in Tamil Nadu, a relative of the worker and police said Wednesday.
Nirmal Raja Ramasamy committed suicide Monday evening in his native village in Thiruvallur district, some 60 km from here.
Police officials, citing the statements made by the relatives of the victim, said that Ramasamy was depressed.
"He was a calm and an upright person. He also served in the army for a brief period. He was suspended by Ford India more than six months back and attended the enquiry proceedings. He was feeling depressed before taking the drastic decision," N.K. Arumgam, his brother-in-law, told IANS.
Ford India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Ford Motor Company. Ramasamy was employed at Ford India's plant at Maraimalai Nagar, around 50 km from here.
According to Arumgam, the family was to see a suitable match for Ramasamy Thursday.
"We started searching for a suitable match for him. But he put a stop to that saying that the process could be started after his suspension gets revoked," Arumgam said.
He said as per his inquires with Ford India employees, the internal enquiry against Ramasamy - for joining a work boycott in March - got over two months back but the company till date had not taken a decision on the probe report.
"Out of the seven workers who were suspended, two went back to work while the remaining five (including Ramasamy) decided to fight it out," said Ford India Employees Union's (FIEU) general secretary A. Satish Kumar.
A. Satish Kumar told IANS: "The internal enquiry (against Ramasamy) was over in July this year. Since then we have not heard anything from the management."
Ford India's spokesperson told IANS in an email: "We are deeply saddened by the passing away of our team member and we offer our sincere condolences to the family. It's not appropriate for us to comment."
According to Ford India, the company was offering full support in working with the relevant agencies who were investigating the case.
"Until the investigation is complete, we cannot comment," the spokesperson added.
The labour trouble at Ford India started in March this year when nine workers were dismissed for fudging pharmacy bills to claim reimbursement.
Ford India factory workers later abstained from work for two days demanding reinstatement of the nine workers and the matter went for conciliation before labour commissioner.
At the conciliation, Ford India agreed not to take action against the workers who boycotted work to press for reinstatement of their colleagues.
According to A. Satish Kumar, Ford India reinstated six of the nine dismissed employees (those the company charged with for fudging pharmacy bills) while three quit the company.
However, the company suspended seven workers, including office bearers of FIEU, and Ramasamy for the March agitation and initiated enquiries against them.