The crisis at Maruti Suzuki's manesar plant could have been avoided according to senior Maruti executives. The carmaker had to shutdown operations at its biggest plant after a spate of violent incidents on July 18th that saw the murder of a senior HR manager. According to Maruti Suzuki officials, the violence in Manesar was instigated by ten executive members of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union.
These executive members of the union were suspended by Maruti Suzuki last year during the strikes. These workers were then reinstated by the company under pressure from the Haryana state government. The government which brokered the truce between Maruti Suzuki and the striking workers put pressure on the carmaker to re-hire many workers.
Maruti Suzuki had suspended 64 workers last year out of which the Haryana government managed to force the carmaker to re-hire 34 workers. The government was concerned that suspending so many workers would have political repercussions. Now it will have to deal with bigger problems as Maruti Suzuki has now decided fire as many as 500 workers.
These same workers became prominent members of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union. Maruti Suzuki did not oppose these workers gaining positions in the union as it did not want to be blamed for interfering with the union. But this decision has now backfired. The same workers who were suspended last year for misconduct have now been alleged to have instigated violence
These ten workers were able to shore up support from more than 600 workers in the Manesar plant on July 18th. All these workers are now absconding and police are yet to trace them. These trouble mongers have been successful in making India's largest carmaker suffer losses to the tune of hundreds of crores not once but twice.
While Maruti Suzuki had to suffer just financial losses during last year's strikes, the violence at Manesar has left a bitter taste as some parts of the plant have burnt down.