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Deadly Sukuzi factory attack

2012-07-19 13:03

ATTACK ON MANAGEMENT: Above shows the damage done to the Suzuki factory in India by disgruntled workers.

MANESAR, India, July 19 - Indian authorities are searching for 3000 people believed to have been involved in a riot at the Maruti Suzuki factory in Manesar.

Hundreds of policemen have secured the factory, arresting 88 people after property was smashed and parts of the factory set on fire during the violence on July 18.

Labour unrest at the factory, where unions have accused India's biggest vehicle manufacturer of anti-worker and anti-union activities, cost the company more than R4-billion in lost production in 2011.


Violence flared after a disciplinary incident against one employee. Company officials say workers began to attack senior management during discussions, while the workers' union said its representatives were attacked first.

Maruti Suzuki spokesman Puneet Dhawan said: "The police have taken charge of the premises. One body was recovered from the premises. It is charred beyond recognition."

Maheshwar Dayal, deputy commissioner of police in Gurgaon said a human resources manager at the plant is missing and his family has been flown in to identify a body.

A Maruti source, who declined to be identified, confirmed that a human resources manager was missing.

Dayal said: "We have created a special investigative team to look for the leaders of the riot. We will make more arrests soon,"

Ei Mochizuki, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Suzuki, which controls the Indian carmaker, said one local employee had died and two Japanese employees had been taken to hospital after the unrest.


Iron rods and other sharp tools lay scattered outside the factory gate, next to a burned out security building, as 1200 police officers secured the site.

Fifty management personnel and nine police officers were injured during the clashes, Dayal said.

Maruti and the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) said the violence stemmed from a disciplinary incident involving one employee.

The automaker said in a statement: "To resolve the issue amicably, members of the senior management met the union. During the talks, the workers attacked the members of the senior management, executives and managers."

MSWU president Ram Meher accused the company of "anti-worker and anti-union activities" in a statement.

Ram Meher said in the statement: "The gates were closed by the security on behest of the management and the bouncers brutally attacked the workers with sharp weapons and arms."

"They, joined by some of the managerial staff and police later, beat up a number of workers who have had to be taken hospital with serious injuries. The bouncers, who are anti-social elements on hire, also destroyed company property and set fire to a portion of the factory," Meher said.

The union is keen to speak with the automaker and government officials to resolve the dispute, Meher added.


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