Labour unions hold protest in city, ask Maruti Suzuki to take back sacked workers

A number of labour unions and a citizens front on Tuesday submitted a memorandum to Union Labour Minister M Mallikarjun Kharge demanding an independent probe into the July 18 violence at the Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar. They also demanded that the 500 workers who were sacked be taken back and the future of 1,500 others be resolved.

Organising a protest in the city on the day the plant reopened, the unions demanded that no further sacking should take place until the cause of the violence is determined. The management had identified 500 more workers, who were believed to have been involved in the violence in which General Manager Awanish Kumar Dev was killed and 96 staff members injured.

The protesters claimed that Maruti Suzuki had jeopardised the lives of 2,000 workers and their families with the full backing of the state and central government.

"Due to the actions of a few, the entire workforce is being portrayed as criminals and thugs. The management should take the expelled workers' back until an inquiry is completed," Satyam Varma, founder of the Citizens Front, said.

The memorandum submitted to the minister also demanded that the culprits of the violence be brought to book and the 54 workers in police custody be released.

"On September 8, we plan to observe an international day of protest at the Japanese Embassies in various countries. So far, we have confirmed that the Suzuki workers will stage a protest in the US and Japan," he said.

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