Labour unrest at Maruti’s Manesar plant ends

Under the agreement signed between the company's management and the striking employees, the company agreed to conditionally take back 18 trainees who were suspended. However, it said it would not take back the 44 regular employees against whom disciplinary action was taken and that they would be under suspension

New Delhi: The over a month long standoff between the management and workers of Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant ended on Friday following talks brokered by the Haryana government, reports PTI.

In an agreement, the workers agreed to sign the contentious good conduct bond laid down by the management.

Under the agreement, the company agreed to conditionally take back 18 trainees who were suspended. However, it said it would not take back the 44 regular employees against whom disciplinary action was taken and that they would be under suspension.

"This reinforces the management's position that indiscipline is not acceptable. The agreement will create a conducive environment for the company's growth and the workers' prosperity," a company official who took part in the talks told PTI.

Asked what action would be taken against the suspended employees, the official said, "Law will take its course."

The talks were brokered by the Haryana government with officials, including deputy labour commissioner JP Mann, assistant labour commissioner Nitin Yadav and Gurgaon district commissioner PC Meena, involved in hectic negotiations.

Later, Haryana minister for labour and employment Shiv Charan Lal Sharma also joined the talks held at Gurgaon.

As per the agreement, no work no pay policy would be implemented for the standoff period.

Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU) had represented the Manesar plant workers during the negotiations as the management refused to talk directly to the rebel body, Maruti Suzuki Employees Union (MSEU). Some representatives of MSEU were however present during the talks.

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

The bond required the workers to declare 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 normal production in the factory".

The workers had refused to sign the bond.

In support of their colleagues at MSI's Manesar plant, workers at three factories operated by two of Japan's Suzuki Motor Corporation's subsidiaries located in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt-Suzuki Powertrain India and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd-went on a two day strike earlier this month.

Three workers of Manesar plant were arrested for inciting violence but were later released on bail during the standoff, which had severely affected production at the plant.

The company has, however, brought it to almost normal levels during the month by bringing additional workforce.

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SEBI revises bidding norms for FIIs in infra bonds

As per SEBI's revised guidelines that were announced on Friday, no single FII shall be allocated more than Rs2,000 crore of the investment limit against the existing Rs10,000 crore. The market regulator has also reduced the minimum bid size to Rs50 crore from the existing Rs250 crore

New Delhi: Revising its norms for foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in infrastructure debt bonds, the capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Friday lowered the minimum bidding and allocation amounts for such investors, reports PTI.

As per the revised guidelines, no single FII shall be allocated more than Rs2,000 crore of the investment limit against the existing Rs10,000 crore.

The market regulator has also reduced the minimum bid size to Rs50 crore from the existing Rs250 crore, a SEBI circular said.

Recently, the government allowed FIIs to invest up to $5 billion in infrastructure bonds with reduction of lock-in period to one year from earlier three years.

Subsequently, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) will hold the bidding process for the allocation of entire $5 billion on 7 October 2011.

These revised norms are likely to attract a higher number of FIIs into the infrastructure bond segment.

Despite the last budget announcement of raising investment limit to $25 billion from $5 billion earlier, there was cold response from FIIs to such bonds.

By the end of 31 August 2011, investments by FIIs were only $109 million, or around Rs500 crore, against a ceiling of $25 billion, or Rs112,095 crore.

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HC fixes 14th October deadline for SEBI, MCX-SX to settle dispute

Justice DY Chandrachud advised the warring parties to resolve the legal row and also advised SEBI to consider withdrawing the show-cause notice it had slapped on MCX-SX as most of the issues in the order have been resolved

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today asked market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) to amicably resolve the deadlock over the exchange's bid to start trading in equities and other instruments by 14th October failing which the court would pass an order, reports PTI.

The justice DY Chandrachud-headed bench said it was pertinent for both the sides to sit down and thrash out the issue amicably.

MCX-SX had last September moved the high court challenging SEBI's order which rejected its application to launch equity trading.

Justice DY Chandrachud advised the warring parties to resolve the legal row and also advised SEBI to consider withdrawing the show-cause notice it had slapped on MCX-SX as most of the issues in the order have been resolved.

SEBI had denied permission to MCX-SX to begin equity trading as it was apprehensive of the shareholding pattern in the private exchange promoted by Jignesh Shah-led Financial Technologies.

Presently, MCX-SX conducts trading in currency derivatives and has been awaiting permission from SEBI to begin trading in stocks.

MCX-SX counsel today insisted before the court that SEBI should give it a fresh hearing on its application during the pendency of the petition filed by the bourse on the issue.

"If they (SEBI) are ready to consider our application, we shall go to them for talks," MCX-SX counsel told the bench.

However, SEBI counsel Darius Khambata suggested that proper procedure should be followed. Firstly, the show-cause notice issued to MCX-SX should be kept in abeyance and the order of SEBI refusing MCX-SX permission to start trading in stocks be set aside.

Thereafter, he said, SEBI would consider application of MCX-SX and if it allows that application, the matter would come to an end. But if SEBI is not satisfied, the same show-cause notice would come into force and the market regulator would give MCX-SX a fresh hearing besides passing a new order.

However, both the sides said they would have to seek instructions from the respective clients on the issue. The bench then asked to them to settle the issue amicably before 14th October or else it would pass an order.

SEBI, however, said that it was not inclined to withdraw the impugned 10 September 2010 order and added that it would abide by the orders of the court. However, MCX-SX insisted that the impugned order may be withdrawn and it be given a fresh hearing.

"Lordships, we would like to know what their anxieties are and what they want us to do. We have waited for three years and it hurts us," MCX-SX counsel submitted.

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