Operations suspended at Maruti plant

Company has about 5,000 units parked at the factory

Amid speculation of a lockout following large scale violence and damage to its property, Maruti Suzuki management on Friday announced that operations would continue to be suspended for the third day on Saturday.

Wednesday night’s riot had claimed the life of Avanish Kumar Dev, General Manager (Human Resources), at the company’s plant besides leaving 90 injured.

The company said while some of the injured officials were discharged from hospital on Friday,  33 supervisors and managers, admitted in various hospitals of Gurgaon were still being treated as in-patients.  “They are undergoing treatment for critical injuries received during the violence at the plant.”

Operations would not begin on Saturday as the priority for the company is the care of the injured supervisors and managers, it added.

“Besides, the company has to assess the damage to the facilities and offices caused by the violence on Wednesday.”  

However, although the plant remained closed, dispatch of cars from Maruti Suzuki’s plant here resumed on Friday amid police protection.  

While company officials could not be reached for comments, trailer trucks loaded with cars, which were produced before the violence, were seen leaving the factory premises.

The company has about 4,000-5,000 units parked at the factory as stocks meant for deliveries to different dealerships across the country.

Before the incident, the company used to roll out 1,500 units on a daily basis. According to company sources, some of the injured, including Japanese nationals, were undergoing treatment at Artemis, Medanta and Paras hospitals. In all, about 100 people were injured in the incident.

With recurring violence and labour unrest, lockout became an option for the management to wriggle out of the present situation.

“Suzuki Motor Corp has asked us not to compromise on violence...we are cooperating with the police and district administration in the investigations... if this is found to be planned and orchestrated from outside, I can’t accept this,” Maruti Suzuki India Managing Director Shinzo Nakanishi said.

The present incident – fourth in just over a year – is said to have forced the management to seriously consider lockout an option. The death of an executive of the rank of GM underlined the tension and possibility of more such attack in future. The unrest over the years has so far left the company with a loss of more than Rs 2500 crore, sources added.

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