Maruti strike: Normalcy may be restored soon, says AITUC

Jun 17, 2011

The 13-day long Maruti Suzuki strike at the Manesar plant might be resolved shortly. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Gurudas Dasgupta Lok Sabha leader and All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) General Secretary said that the management has agreed to take back the 11 sacked workers.

He further said normalcy will be restored, once agreement signed.

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Below is the verbatim transcript of the interview.

Q: Has there been a breakthrough in your talks with the Maruti management? Has the management agreed to take back or reinstate the 11 sacked workers?

A: It seems so.

Q: Is the strike being called off anytime soon?

A: With the signing of the agreement, normalcy will be restored.

Q: Has the agreement already been signed?

A: It is being worked out quietly in Gurgaon.

Q: What are the other conditions that you have asked the management to agree with and what conditions has the management agreed to comply with?

A: There is just one agreement. All the 11 workers should be taken back.

Q: Is that the only demand?

A: At the moment.

Q: What about the demand of a union which was separate from the union that currently exists? What about that crucial demand?

A: Workers have never agreed to join the present union. The agreement has nothing mentioned about the union. Workers are free to register their union. Formation and registration of a union is done by the labour department and not the management. It has nothing to do with the bipartite agreement. Anybody can register the union.

Q: We understand that the registration process has already begun. As per the articles of association of this new union, it sorts to invite members outside of Maruti Suzuki to be office bearers and this union should be allowed to have political affiliations, is this true and accurate?

A: It is to be considered and decided by the workers and the labour department. It is not for me to comment. It is their choice.

Q: Is that a demand or part of the articles of association?

A: This is not a demand. The management has nothing to do with it. The registration has to be done by the labour ministry.

Q: Did the articles of association for the new union filed with the labour department of the Haryana government say that the union should be allowed to have political affiliations?

A: I am not aware of the details. The article of association’s applications has been made, but I am not aware of the details. The process of registration will be decided by the labour department and the union will have its say.

Q: If this union is given clearance by the Haryana government and the Maruti management refuses to recognise this union, are we back to square one?

A: There are hundreds and thousands of union in different factories which are not recognised. Recognition of the union by the management is not a prerequisite of trade union movement. We are not back to square one. They wanted to join their union which the workers have not till date.

Q: Can you confirm that on day 13 the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki is no longer on strike? Whenever you said that this agreement was signed, this strike is now over.

A: I never said that the agreement has been signed. I said that it is being signed. With the signature of the agreement, normalcy will be restored.

Q: Do you expect this agreement to be signed by both parties in the next hour or so?

A: I am very hopeful of that.