Maruti Suzuki's Manesar Plant Workers Sabotage Production Cars


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THE MARUTI WAY

link :-THE MARUTI WAY[frustration]

Manesar has been much in the news, with worker violence being blamed for the disruptions in production. Not so, say the workers who claim it’s part of a management plan to scuttle their efforts to form a union.

My name is… let that be. Maruti Suzuki is out to get me, not because I did anything but because they want to put virtually every worker in jail, even those who belonged to the third shift and were not even present when violence took place in the Manesar factory on 18 July. I was present there and will tell you what happened, but to understand it you will have to let me begin from the beginning.
“ If a worker’s task is to add a brake and pedal, then that’s what you do all day, with 8-10 bolts in every car, car after car, 40 seconds per car. The result is a bit like a dance move, the same move, non-stop for eight hours. The Manesar plant, I am sure, is the world’s fastest car production facility. The conveyor belt doesn’t really stop, we move with it ”
I am 26 years old. I come from a village in Panipat. My father is a daily wage labourer. After finishing class 10 in a government school, I enrolled at the Panipat Industrial Training Institute (ITI). After two years of learning to handle machines at the ITI, I joined Maruti’s Gurgaon plant as an apprentice in 2006. The apprenticeship lasts a year. I was anxious before I first entered the plant, because I knew many from Panipat who have done that before, and they all used to say there’s so much work, and it’s such heavy work, you won’t be able to do it. I was determined to prove them wrong. I soon realised what they meant, the work pressure can’t be described, it has to be experienced.
First they took a day or two for the joining procedures after which I found myself getting training for another day or two in their Apprenticeship Wing. This was followed by some training for another day or two on the line, and then they left me to work, on my own. Apprenticeship means training, but there was no training. Apprentices are free labour for Maruti because even though we get a stipend, it is reimbursed to Maruti by the government. The Rs. 2,800 a month was its way of helping the ITI products get a job.
In the factory, we make cars. The parts come from various companies, hundreds of vendors make those parts for Maruti and we fit them to the frame of the car.
I was taken aback by the Maruti way. All of us, from apprentices to permanent workers, had to work eight hours, which did not include a 30-minute lunch break. We got two tea breaks on company time, seven minutes each, to manage tea, snacks and the toilet, all together. It takes a minute and a half just for the tea to arrive. You could either have tea or take a leak, but soon we learnt to do both together. Teacup in one hand, we’d run to the toilet. Before returning to work we also had to wash the tea cup before putting it back into our lockers.

Now, I did the ITI course and landed in Gurgaon to work. But I had no idea it would be such back-breaking non-stop work for eight hours. The salary didn’t justify it either. But here I was, this was life, I began to accept it.
After a year of so-called apprenticeship at Gurgaon they gave me a job at the Manesar plant, started just a few months ago. The rules were the same. I wake up at 4.30 a.m., the bus arrives to pick us up at 5.20 a.m., reach the factory at 6.30 a.m. The factory is about 25-30 km from where most workers live in Gurgaon. The shift begins at 7 a.m.
Some months ago they changed the shift timing to 6.30 a.m., so we have to wake up even earlier. This was because some workers come from Delhi too, and they have to beat the early morning traffic between Delhi and Gurgaon. The transport isn’t free, they deduct Rs. 500 a month from our salary. The lunch and tea are subsidised—around Rs. 350 is deducted from our salaries. Tea breaks are in the rest area next to where we work on the shopfloor, but lunch, which is on our time, is in the canteen. Some workers have to walk quite a distance to the canteen, so 30 minutes isn’t enough to grab lunch or go to the bathroom. One worker being late can stop the entire conveyor belt, so that worker gets a lot of flak from the managers.
So now we wake up at 3.45 a.m. and the shift begins at 6 a.m.. Only technically, though. They start the morning meeting and the warm-up exercises 15 minutes before, from what is our time, not included in their eight hours. The point of the morning meeting is to take names and count who made what mistakes, who left a loose part, who missed a part in the conveyor belt, causing a delay of how many seconds in the production line. The day begins with humiliation. You did this! You did that! I want your explanation in writing. If this happens again we’ll give you a warning letter. And today we want these many cars done, no excuses shall be entertained. Then the exercises begin on the shop-floor, the conveyor belt is soon switched on.
While I had to install parts, some are also in checking and repair. First, the metal sheets are converted into the car body by machines, which is assembled by workers in the weld shop. Then it goes to the paint shop, where the process is semi-mechanised. In the Assembly, the parts are fitted together, beginning with the wiring and meshing, then the brakes and pedals and the steering and so on. The car comes to the worker on the conveyor belt and depending on what your job is to add to it, it stops for 35-40 seconds on an average. So if a worker’s task is to add a brake and pedal, then that’s what you do all day, with 8-10 bolts in every car, car after car, 40 seconds per car. The result is a bit like a dance move, the same move, non-stop for eight hours. The screw gun in one hand, fix it, run back, pick up another bolt, move back to the car. A bit like aerobics.
The Manesar plant, I am sure, is the world’s fastest car production facility. The conveyor belt doesn’t really stop, we move with it and rush back to the original position in time for the next car. We don’t control the machine, the machine controls us. We dance to its tune. The result is that you could miss a car or two if you dared to drink water or scratch your back. Such things must be done by us along with fitting the parts.

If in such a schedule you feel thirsty, it takes 45 minutes to steal time to drink water without missing a car. Workers pass water bottles on the conveyor belt.
The problem may sound comical but it isn’t funny when you miss a car. Imagine being asked by the supervisor at the end of the shift why you missed one car. To give an explanation that I missed it as four seconds were wasted scratching my back… is this what a man deserves? Conversations like these take place after the shift, when we are summoned and scolded, given warning letters and so on.
It is not considered human to err. Why aren’t you able to work? we’re asked. Aren’t others working? Why did you have to go to the bathroom? God forbid if you have an upset stomach! The manager tells supervisors to discourage workers from drinking as they will then want to go take a leak. Supposing they figured out that one is able to steal time to drink water between the work, next day such a worker would find the work suddenly increasing.
They study us through CCTV cameras, constantly trying to squeeze more work out of our hands. How dare you manage to save the time to drink water! Five free seconds! That is not acceptable to them. If a worker says he really has to rush to the bathroom, the supervisor would say I don’t allow it, now do what you can. This would result in peeing in the pants, sometimes defecating too. That is the worker’s answer to what he can do against the system.
Their concept of “overtime” is Rs. 17—whether you are made to work overtime for one hour or two, you get the same fixed princely sum! Maruti does not want us to waste a single millisecond of the eight hours for which it pays us such a miserly sum. This overtime would be divided in two parts—an hour before the shift and an hour after. Even if you were a minute late reaching the factory, even in “overtime”, they would deduct half day’s salary! With such overtime in winters a worker would get six hours of sleep, considering the traffic jams those days at Honda Chowk would delay us returning home on our way back.
Asking for leave is a sin. Supposing a worker’s father dies and he wants to rush home, he is asked, “Why don’t you finish the shift and go? By the time you reach, the cremation would be over anyway.” The maximum you can be away if your loved one has died is three days. After that, you’ll be deluged with phone calls asking if you intend to stay in the village forever.
Other companies are better, but they tend to copy the Maruti way. Such is Maruti’s confidence in their way that they have passed it on to their vendor companies as well. Such are the conditions in which we make four Maruti cars: Swift, Swift Dzire, A Star and SX4. I think we were freer under the British Raj.
 
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THE MARUTI WAY

link :-THE MARUTI WAY

Manesar has been much in the news, with worker violence being blamed for the disruptions in production. Not so, say the workers
Its shocking.

Don't know how much truth in it. But even if a fraction of it is true, then also its a horrible state of affairs.

Life in Hyundai is tough. But this story of Maruti is worse than Hyundai.


However, TATA Motors is a different story. With this, we should consider TATA Motors as a heaven for both shop floor workers and other employees. Just ask any genuine/real worker or even an apprentice there.
 
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If this is at all true. Then this is shocking and this is not at all acceptable. You don't allow free time to workers thats OK, but no time for toilets and drinking waters as well. What are inspection people do when they arrive for the inspection of the working environment of the factory. I bet govt want Maruti to continue the same as they earning good hefty taxes from the cars that maruti sells. [anger].
 
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Its shocking.

Don't know how much truth in it. But even if a fraction of it is true, then also its a horrible state of affairs.
+1 and where are human right activists now ? However, we first need to see how much truth is there in this or is it just a form of PR activity to defame MSIL to justify the violence by getting sympathy. Commenting just based on one comment is wrong, I feel.

BTW, my neighbor had booked Swift diesel for his wife. After we got delivery of Dzire, he asked me how much time it will take. I called up manager & he frankly informed another 4 months atleast, especially as his color is grey. My friend/neighbor spoke with me & few days back has purchased new i20 Sportz crdi. It is far superior than swift.
 
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BTW, my neighbor had booked Swift diesel for his wife. After we got delivery of Dzire, he asked me how much time it will take. I called up manager & he frankly informed another 4 months atleast, especially as his color is grey. My friend/neighbor spoke with me & few days back has purchased new i20 Sportz crdi. It is far superior than swift.
Same thing happened to me one year ago, but the only difference is I bought PUNTO. [:D]
 
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Maruti to double car production in Manesar

Maruti Ltd plans to nearly double its car production at its Manesar to 2,000 by November, indicating that India’s largest car maker is betting on its new Alto 800 to boost sales, analysts from Prabudas Lilladher said on Monday.
Maruti produces around 1,200 cars in the Manesar plant, which faced production losses due to labour problems and violence. Bookings have opened for Alto 800, the revamped flagship car to be launched on October 16. Maruti expects to roll out 800 cars a day, the analysts, quoting vendors and component suppliers said.

Maruti has shown negative sales in passenger vehicles for six months till September, despite showing increasing sales in the last month. Prabudas expects strong demand for Swift and Dzire also to add up to sales due to festival demand.
 
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Double the productions!!! So it means we should be ready for another strike . :-)

More people doing Over Times, more workers working day in day out. More discontent. [frustration]
 
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Maruti Suzuki's Manesar workers plan hunger strike, rally

Workers from Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant are planning a hunger strike and other peaceful protests to force the management to take back the 548 employees sacked after this year's July's violence.

These workers have formed a new provisional working committee under the aegis of the now defunct Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union (MSWU) and the new functionaries have served a notice to the Haryana government for a hunger strike at the Gurgaon deputy commissioner office on November 7 and a mass rally on Thursday.

The committee, led by Iman Khan, Ramniwas, Omprakash Jat, Ktar Singh among others, also plans to submit a memorandum to Haryana Labour Minister Shiv Charan Lal Sharma to for a decisive action on the prolonged issue. The workers also want their colleagues, who were imprisoned after the July riot, to be released.

Om Prakash, member of the provisional working committee of MSWU said the management's action has been arbitrary as only 211 employees have been charged by the special investigation team. "The hunger strike and the proposed rally are (being held) to protest against this decision and also seek remedial measure to reinstate all innocent workers, who are either not involved in any activity or not charged by SIT," he added.

Maruti has almost resumed normal production at the Manesar plant and is manufacturing around 1,600 cars/day. It is operating both the plants and full peak capacity is expected to be reached by the middle of this month. The company's top executives had earlier told analysts in a conference call that it would reach the maximum production of 1,800 cars/day by the middle of November.

Senior company officials declined to comment on the issue. The latest call by workers highlights the discontent simmering among the workers nearly four months after a deadly assault killed a Maruti employee and nearly destroyed one of India's hi-tech automated plants. The MSWU is currently defunct as all its office bearers are imprisoned for instigating violence in the Manesar plant.

Trade union officials active in the area say that Maruti's Manesar workers would get some support from their peers working in the vicinity in the Manesar-Gurgaon industrial belt and they would also extend support to the strike.

"The issue of Manesar has not settled yet. Workers are still looking at an amicable solution with a clear and transparent action on the July violence. Various trade union have extended support to MSWU on their stand as workers were dismissed without any investigation or fair trial," said national secretary of All Indian Trade Union Congress DL Sachdev.

Maruti has replaced a large portion of the original workforce at Manesar. It has also done away with all temporary workers that formed a large proportion before the July violence. Besides recruiting new workers at Manesar, it has also increased automation at both the plants to reduce dependence on workers and is promoting robotised manufacturing at its older Gurgaon plants also.

"There are a large number of workers who got terminated or were asked to leave just on suspicion. The company has no valid reasons, but purported by the government, many workers were harassed and summarily dismissed. We are protesting to get some remedial action from the Haryana government and Maruti Suzuki to maintain cordial working conditions without hounding workers for past incidents," said Iman Khan another member of the committee.

Maruti Suzuki's Manesar workers plan hunger strike, rally - The Economic Times
 
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Maruti Suzuki pleads inability to pay Rs 1,200 cr more for Manesar plant land

Maruti SuzukiBSE has pleaded inability to pay over Rs 1,200 crore by way of enhanced land acquisition dues for 600 acres it acquired for the Manesar plant in 2002, and urged the Supreme Court to hear it before taking a call on the enhanced compensation amount for farmers.

Maruti had paid Rs 118.90 crore for 602.40 acres in 2008. The Punjab and Haryana High Court, in an order dated February 11, 2011, enhanced the compensation amount to Rs 37.40 lakh per acre from Rs 28.15 lakh per acre fixed by the reference court. The apex court later fixed it at Rs 28.15 lakh in an interim order on August 10, 2011.

The cost of the 1994 acquisition was fixed at a uniform Rs 15 lakh per acre in an earlier high court judgement and later enhanced by the Supreme Court to Rs 20 lakh per hectare. In fixing Rs 37.40 lakh, the high court used a 12 per cent increase per annum formula from the 1994 acquisition.

The judgement entails an additional payment of Rs 1,200 crore by the company to Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC), which acquired the land and handed it over 'raw' to Maruti Suzuki.

Land was acquired in Manesar area in three phases. Land for Phase I was acquired in 1994. Phases II and III were acquired in 2002. Maruti's case was first pleaded by senior counsel PS Patwalia and then Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

"It is a huge project, giving employment," Patwalia said. "If Rs 1,000 crore has to be paid, some hard decisions will have to be taken," he said. "There's been violence and arson in the plant," he said, hinting at the possibility of things becoming worse there.

The Manesar plant, which produces Maruti's more popular models and their diesel variants, has been embroiled in a bitter labour unrest for some time now. Singhvi, intervening later, said the project exported a significant number of cars and "was an important project for Haryana".

He contended that the project would become unviable as the costs would go awry. "Is it fair?" Patwalia argued that the cost of land acquired for the project was estimated at Rs 100 crore, now it was over Rs 1,000 crore.

Maruti, in its plea that the court agreed to hear, explained the delay in approaching the court by saying it had no cause to worry till April 2012 when HSIDC slapped a Rs 235-crore charge on it as additional compensation costs.

The company argued that 65 per cent should have been deducted towards development charges as the land was not developed at all, and the company had invested huge amounts to improve it and create infrastructure.

The high court, while enhancing the compensation, also did not take into account any contemporary evidence and instead banked on prior or subsequent evidence by way of sale deeds to arrive at the cost of the land, Maruti claimed.

Maruti Suzuki pleads inability to pay Rs 1,200 cr more for Manesar plant land - The Economic Times
 
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US auto workers express solidarity with Maruti, Hyundai staff

The United Auto Workers (UAW) headquartered in the US has expressed its support to workers at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) and demanded that the two companies reinstate all terminated employees.

The UAW, comprising the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, has written to Shinzo Nakanishi, CEO at Maruti Suzuki, and to Bo Shin Seo, CEO at HMIL. According to a UAW statement, they have demanded that both companies end anti-union practices, reinstate workers terminated for union activity, and recognise the rights of the Hyundai Motor India Employees Union (HMIEU) and Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) members.

Bob King, president UAW, in his letter to Nakanishi dated Nov 21 expressed shock and serious concern with recent actions of the company and termed them repressive of labour's fundamental rights at Manesar car assembly plant. "The international labour and human rights community calls upon the Company and the State of Haryana to immediately recognize the democratically-elected Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union (MSWU) and engage in collective bargaining..," he wrote.

"UAW further calls upon the Company to immediately reinstate all terminated workers and on the State of Haryana to withdraw all false charges against workers and to release all of the 149 workers imprisoned following the July 18, 2012, incident at the plant," King said. King also demanded that HMIL's CEO Seo reinstate 27 workers fired by the company in 2008 and recognise Hyundai Motor India Employees' Union (HMIEU) or "hold a fair secret ballot election to decide the majority union, or to renegotiate the illegitimate wage agreement reached with the UUHE (United Union of Hyundai Employees)".

While UAW has written to the two Asia-based auto companies, it has not written any letter to the Indian subsidiary of the American auto major Ford Motor Company (FMC), which is also facing a similar labour issue. According to a union official at Ford India Employees Union (FIEU), the UAW officials are in talks with FMC to sort out the labour problem at its subsidiary Ford India Pvt Ltd. King also wrote to MSWU and HMIEU expressing UAW's solidarity with them. According to UAW's website, the union has more than 390,000 active members and more than 600,000 retired members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

US auto workers express solidarity with Maruti, Hyundai staff | wheelsunplugged.com
 
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Suzuki suspends two workers over fight; union meeting on Friday

Suzuki Motorcyle has suspended two workers at its Gurgaon plant over a fight with a supervisor last week, the Financial Express said.

The Suzuki Motorcycle India Employees Union has called for a meeting with the Haryana labour department on Friday, February 22, to resolve the issue. Avinesh Kumar, General secretary of the employees union is among the two suspended. Suzuki has also launched an internal inquiry into the incident.

"A worker (Pradeep) in the weld shop had complained about defects on bike frames to his superior (manager) on February 12. After that the supervisor in charge of the frames came to the worker asking why he is complaining to others, and a fight ensued. The union member also came in support of the same worker, following which the company issued suspension letters to both the worker and the union member on the same day,” an SMIEU office bearer told FE.

“Production is running as normal and the management is yet to decide on what to do with the suspension of the workers,” a Suzuki official in charge of the Gurgaon factory operations said.

This incident follows another in 2011 when three workers were suspended by Suzuki Motorcycle after the union went on strike to support the strike by workers at Maruti Suzuki’s nearby Manesar plant who were demanding registration of their own union at the time. However, this suspension was revoked after a while, FE reported.

The frequent strike has hurt the image of the National Capital Region or NCR that covers Manesar and Gurgaon, where most auto companies are located. The region may lose its auto hub status to South and Western states, if the Haryana government doesn't address labour concerns, Assocham, an industry body warned.

The NCR region has seen simmering labour problems in the last decade including violent death of employees and management personnel of auto companies. The latest is Hero Motocorp, which is facing labour trouble at its Gurgaon plant with workers threatening strike if their demands are not met.

Suzuki suspends two workers over fight; union meeting on Friday | wheelsunplugged.com

Please post it in the relevant thread.
 
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These kinds of labour revolts happen throughout the world, be it france or US.
Its not just NCR.
As time passes the labour demands and expectations rise too in an industrial unit.
The industries too become greedy sometimes.

Bengal was home of industries earlier now see what has happened. Now, gujarat and TN are hot properties tomorrow it will be someplace else.
 

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