Lockout at Manesar unit an option,says Maruti

CEO Nakanishi says events a ‘bad dot’ in firm’s history

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published:July 21, 2012 1:00 am

Maruti Suzuki on Friday said lockout is an option at its troubled Manesar plant with its managing director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi saying the events were a “bad dot” in the company’s history.

As industry bodies said the violence at the factory on Wednesday could impact investments,state chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda told reporters after a Cabinet meeting that a special investigation team has been formed to look into the issue. “Stern action would be taken against those found guilty,” he said.

Meanwhile,Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is in Japan this week where he will meet top officials of Suzuki too. Gujarat has wooed Maruti to set up a plant on which talks with the company are on.

Nakanishi said the incident “is the biggest challenge in my career. I really don’t know why this is happening. After last year’s strike,we thought the ‘shadow of outside’ was removed and thus the new union at Manesar was recognised”.

The MD also acknowledged that if there was a communication gap with the workers,it needed to be improved. He also told PTI that Suzuki Motor Corp (the parent company of Maruti Suzuki) “has asked us not to compromise on violence. If this is found to be planned and orchestrated from outside,I can’t accept this,” he said.

Speaking separately,SY Siddiqui,chief operating officer (administration) said while in the long-term the company was committed to the smooth operations of the plant at Manesar “in the short-term we are considering various options,including a lockout”.

The state industry secretary,YS Malik claimed the events at Maruti were sporadic and would not have any adverse impact on investment climate. He was responding to a Maruti Suzuki statement that had said,the violence could “have implications beyond one company or region”.

Production meanwhile remained shut at the second plant of the company but continued at its Gurgaon unit although cars manufactured prior to the violence were dispatched.

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