Labour strike spreads to Suzuki’s other factories

Striking workers from Suzuki Powertrain India, Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd and Suzuki Castings are asking for an early settlement to the standoff between MSI management and workers at the Manesar plant that has severely affected production since 29th August

The companies where the workers have gone on strike are-Suzuki Powertrain India and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd. Workers from Suzuki Castings-a part of Suzuki Powertrain India-also have joined the strike

Gurgaon: Workers at three factories of two different companies of Suzuki in India have gone on strike this afternoon in support of their colleagues at Maruti Suzuki India's (MSI) Manesar plant, who are locked in a standoff with the management since 29th August, reports PTI.

The two companies where the workers have gone on strike are-Suzuki Powertrain India and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd. The three factories of these companies are located in the Gurgaon-Menes industrial belt.

"The workers of these three companies have gone on strike since this afternoon in support of MSI's Manesar plant workers," president of Suzuki Powertrain India Employees Union president Sube Singh Yadav told PTI.

He said the workers from these three plants are asking for an early settlement to the standoff between MSI management and workers at the Manesar plant that has severely affected production since 29th August.

Workers from Suzuki Castings-a part of Suzuki Powertrain India-who are affiliated to Suzuki Powertrain India Employees Union, also said they have joined the strike.

Suzuki Motorcycle India Workers Union President Anil Kumar said workers at the two-wheeler maker's plant stopped working in support of colleagues at MSI.

"We want them (Maruti) to settle the issue as soon as possible, till then we will be on strike. Moreover, we are also demanding regularisation of our colleagues here who have been working here for more than four years," he said.

Comments from officials of Suzuki Powertrain India and Suzuki Motorcycle India could not be obtained immediately.

Suzuki Powertrain India employs over than 2,000 workers at its Manesar plant, where it manufactures diesel engines and transmissions for supplies to MSI. Suzuki Castings has nearly 700 workers.

Suzuki Motorcycles India has 1,400 workers at its plant near Manesar and it rolls out about 1,200 motorcycles and scooters a day.

Yesterday MSI sacked five more workers at its Manesar plant on disciplinary grounds even as it recruited 100 new people to replace the existing workers, who have refused to sign the good conduct bond.

MSI management and the workers have been locked in a standoff since 29th August when the management prevented workers from entering factory premises unless they signed the bond, after allegations of sabotage and deliberate compromise on the quality of cars being produced surfaced.

The bond required the workers to declare that they would "not resort to go slow, intermittent stoppage of work, stay- in-strike, work-to-rule, sabotage or otherwise indulge in any activity, which would hamper the normal production in the factory".


Share prices overcome negatives: Wednesday Closing Report

Bounce-back to continue to the level of 5,070

The market ended its three-day losing streak to climb higher, even as headline inflation for August inched closer to double-digits. Yesterday, we mentioned that the Nifty should close above 4,980 to resume its uptrend. Today's intra-day high and close on the index was well above this level. We may now see a small upmove to the level 5,070. However, if the buying continues after 5,070, then the gains may continue to 5,140.

The market opened positive, on support from its Asian peers, which were higher in morning trade. The Nifty opened 24 points up at 4,965 and the Sensex resumed trade higher by 56 points at 16,523. However, concerns over the likelihood of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) continuing with its stiff monetary policy when it meets on Friday, weak Asian markets and a sharp fall in US futures, pulled down the indices. Capital goods, banking, power and oil & gas stocks witnessed selling pressure in early trade. At the lows, the Nifty touched 4,917 and the Sensex slipped to 16,387. The market was range-bound in subsequent trade.

Investors brushed aside higher inflation numbers for August, as a positive opening on key European bourses set off buying interest in IT and metal stocks, lifting the market into the green in post-noon trade. The gains continued and the market hit its intra-day high in the last few minutes on short-covering. At the day's high the Nifty breached the 5,000 mark to touch 5,026, while the Sensex rose to 16,754.

The market came off the highs and traded sideways for the rest of the session. The Nifty closed up 72 points at 5,013 and the Sensex settled at 16,710, a gain of 242 points.

The broader indices underperformed the Sensex today with the BSE Mid-cap index rising 0.21% and the BSE Small-cap index gaining 0.37%.

BSE IT (up by 4.27%), BSE TECk (up 2.92%), BSE Metal (up 1.90%), BSE Bankex (up 1.46%) and BSE Oil & Gas (up 1.42%) were the top sectoral gainers, while BSE Capital Goods (down 0.36%) was the lone laggard.

The major gainers on the Sensex were Jaiprakash Associates (up 6.39%), Infosys (up 5.78%), Wipro (up 4.34%), Hindustan Unilever (up 3.34%) and HDFC Bank (up 2.69%). The main losers on the index were Tata Power (down 1.92%), Larsen & Toubro (down 1.52%), Cipla (down 1.48%), Bharti Airtel (down 0.70%) and State Bank of India (down 0.47%).

The Nifty gainers were led by JP Associates (up 6.85%), Infosys (up 6.07%), Wipro (up 4.36%), HCL Technologies (up 4.08%) and BHEL (up 3.82%). The key losers on the index were Sesa Goa (down 2.42%), Tata Power (down 2.07%), Cipla (down 1.55%), L&T (down 1.52%) and Bharti Airtel (down 1.06%).

Markets in Asia pared early gains and settled mostly lower following the Chinese government's reluctance to support debt-ridden European economies. "Countries must first put their own houses in order," Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China, today.

The Jakarta Composite fell by 1.95%, the KLSE Composite declined 0.72%, the Nikkei 225 slipped 1.14%, the Seoul Composite plunged 3.52% and Taiwan Weighted tumbled 2.20%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite gained 0.17%, the Hang Seng added 0.08% and the Straits Times rose 0.37%.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of shares worth Rs468.41 crore on Tuesday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of equities worth Rs121.19 crore.

Lupin's subsidiary Lupin Pharmaceuticals has received final approval from the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for its abbreviated new drug application to market a generic version of the anti-epilepsy drug Levetiracetam extended release tablets. The drug had annual sales of about $161 million for 12 months ended June, according to IMS Health data. Lupin gained 2.5% to close at Rs480 on the NSE today.

Tata Steel today said it is in the process of completing an investment programme to upgrade hot-rolled strip processing capabilities at its Dudley plant in West Midlands, UK, by installing a leveller worth £500,000. The new leveller, which will come on stream in January 2012, will decoil cut-to-length and fully flatten hot-rolled steel coil in thicknesses of 3-5 mm and in widths of up to two metres. The stock jumped 3.42% to Rs473 on the NSE.

Sugar manufacturer Bajaj Hindusthan is in the process of raising Rs1,644 crore through a rights issue. The company will issue two fresh equity shares for every one share held by shareholders at a price of Rs36 a share, which is much lower than the prevailing market price. The stock declined 1.9% to end at Rs51.50 on the NSE.


Coal deficit to widen to 200 MT by end of 12th Plan: Plan Panel

With projected coal demand of around 900 MT to 1,000 MT by the end of the 12th Plan and domestic production estimated at about 770 MT, the country is expected to face a shortfall of about 200 MT, Planning Commission senior advisor (power) Arbind Prasad said

New Delhi: India's coal demand will go up to 1,000 million tonnes (MT) by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), necessitating about 200 MT of imports to bridge the shortfall in domestic output, reports PTI quoting a senior Planning Commission official.

The production shortfall in the current fiscal, the final year of the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12), is projected at 142 MT, with domestic output likely to amount to 554 MT.

"Projected coal demand is to the extent of 900 MT to 1,000 MT by the end of the 12th Plan. Domestic production will be about 770 MT or so. So we still face a shortfall of about 200 MT," Planning Commission senior advisor (power) Arbind Prasad said on the sidelines of a conference on 'Coal Distribution and Transport Logistics' here.

Mr Prasad said unless the widening demand-supply gap for coal was bridged, the projected shortfall of 200 MT would have to be met through imports.

"Most likely, this shortfall will be met through imports, if the international markets remain favourable," he said.

He said the Commission has estimated domestic production at 770 MT by 2017 on the basis of projected annual growth of around 7% in output.

"... The domestic production by the end of this Plan would be 554 million tonnes. This is what our projection is," he said.

As per a Planning Commission document, coal output in 2011-12 was expected to reach 680 MT, but the estimate was later scaled down to 630 MT in a mid-term appraisal by prime minister Manmohan Singh. It has now been revised downward even further to 554 MT.

The Commission has noted that demand for coal rose by about 8% a year during the 11th Plan and may rise by the same percentage during the next Five Year Plan.

The Commission has also observed that uncertainties in coal supply were affecting power generation.

"Coal India is not entering into fuel supply agreements for more than 50% of the requirement of thermal plants and that too, only for five years," it had said.

Coal India is the world's largest producer of coal and accounts for over 85% of domestic production of the dry fuel.

In the last fiscal, it produced about 431 MT of coal, almost the same output it recorded in 2009-10.


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