Strike at Maruti’s Manesar unit enters sixth day

Maruti Suzuki’s production is now heading toward a complete halt, with its main unit in Gurgaon rolling out 64% less cars yesterday than the normal daily output of 2,800 units due to parts supply constraints caused by the strike at SPIL

New Delhi: The ongoing strike at Maruti Suzuki India’s (MSI) Manesar plant entered its sixth day today, with no production taking place at the unit, as workers continue to demand that the management take back all suspended and casual employees, reports PTI.

The strike by workers at Suzuki Powertrain India (SPIL) and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL) in support of their colleagues at MSI Manesar plant has worsened the situation.

“The plant is still captive in the hands of striking workers. There is no production today also at the Manesar plant,” a company spokesperson told PTI.

The company has been hit hard, not only by strike of its own workers, but also due to the supply shortage of engines and transmissions from SPIL.

MSI’s production is now heading toward a complete halt, with its main unit in Gurgaon rolling out 64% less cars yesterday than the normal daily output of 2,800 units due to parts supply constraints caused by the strike at SPIL.

On 10th October the Haryana Labour Department slapped a notice on workers for ‘breach of settlement’ in connection to the agreement that was signed on 1st October to end the 33-day-long impasse and asked them to respond within the next 48 hours.

On the other hand, all big national trade unions cutting across party lines—AITUC, CITU, HMS, INTUC, BMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, AICCTU and UTUC—lashed out at the company management, accusing it of ‘high-handed provocative activities’ and said not allowing casual workers to join duty is ‘an absolute act of vengeance’.

The series of strikes at the Manesar plant since June this year has resulted in excise revenue losses to the tune of nearly Rs350 crore for the government, while the company has already suffered a hit of up to Rs1,540 crore, with a total production loss of 51,375 units till yesterday.

Because of the strike, exclusive component suppliers to MSI fear heavy losses during the festive season and have sought the intervention of Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who along with his ministerial colleagues are busy with the Hisar by-elections on 13th October, to help resolve the issues.

Workers at MSI’s Manesar plant went on a stay-in strike on Friday afternoon, completely affecting production at the plant.

The number of workers who went on strike was around 2,000, including regular and contract employees, apprentices and trainees.

The number, however, came down to about 1,500 after the company ‘rescued’ some workers, who were ‘held under duress’.

The company alleged that the striking workers attacked co-workers, supervisors and executives in multiple incidents of violence and damaged factory properties inside the plant.

The workers, however, denied any such acts and said they were “manhandled by company bouncers”. They have gone on strike, demanding the reinstatement of over 1,000 casual workers and 44 permanent employees, who were suspended during the standoff that started on 29th August.

On Sunday, MSI dismissed 10 workers, terminated five trainees and suspended 10 employees in connection “with the strike and violence at the Manesar factory premises”.

As per the agreement reached on 1st October, the company had agreed to conditionally take back suspended 18 trainees.

The workers, in turn, had agreed to sign the ‘good conduct bond’, which said 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 at the factory”.

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Infosys Q2 consolidated net up by 9.72% at Rs1,906 crore

Revenues are expected to be in the range of Rs8,826 crore to Rs9,012 crore for the quarter ending 31st December, a year-on-year growth of 24.2% to 26.8%

Mumbai: Indian IT bellwether Infosys on Wednesday reported a 9.72% growth in its consolidated net profit to Rs1,906 crore for the second quarter ended 30th September compared to Rs1,737 crore for the September quarter of the previous fiscal (2010-11), Infosys said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

The consolidated revenue of the country’s second largest software exporter rose to Rs8,099 crore in the reporting period from Rs6,947 crore in the year-ago period, translating into a 16.58% increase, reports PTI.

“The global macroeconomic environment is still uncertain.

It is and should be a concern for the IT industry. In this scenario, clients are looking for new opportunities for growth, accelerated innovation and increased returns on investments,” Infosys CEO and managing director SD Shibulal said in a statement.

Infosys’ strategic initiatives and organisational structure will enable it to build long-term partnerships with clients and help drive their business objectives, he added.

Revenues are expected to be in the range of Rs8,826 crore to Rs9,012 crore for the quarter ending 31st December, a year-on-year growth of 24.2% to 26.8%.

For the fiscal ending 31st March 2012, it has estimated revenues of Rs33,501 crore to Rs34,088 crore, a y-o-y growth of 21.8% to 24%, the statement said.

The company’s board has proposed an interim dividend of Rs15 per equity share.

Infosys saw the gross addition of 15,352 employees during the quarter, while net additions amounted to 8,262 people. The total headcount of Infosys and its subsidiaries stood at 1,41,822 employees as of 30 September 2011.

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Telecos to lose $400 million on abolition of roaming charges

Global rating firm Fitch said the draft NTP’s indication to remove roaming charges is negative for Indian telecom companies as revenue from this segment accounts for 4% to 7% of overall revenue of the service providers

New Delhi: Abolition of roaming charges as proposed in the draft National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2011 is expected to result in a revenue loss of about $400 million for leading telecom service providers, reports PTI.

“The Indian roaming market is estimated to be around $600 million (roaming charges plus call tariffs). Telecom operators together will lose to the tune of $400 million if it is implemented,” telecom industry leader at Ernst and Young, Prashant Singhal, told PTI.

He, however, added that the real impact can be assessed based on the elasticity of demand.

“The demand may rise in future but I don’t see much impact on elasticity of demand. Falling tariffs have encouraged people in making calls while they are on roaming,” he said.

Meanwhile, global rating firm Fitch said the draft NTP’s indication to remove roaming charges is negative for Indian telecom companies as revenue from this segment accounts for 4% to 7% of overall revenue of the service providers.

Gartner Research director Kamlesh Bhatia said operators having a major market share will tend to lose revenue.

“Ambiguity has now shifted from vision to execution. We will have what mechanism is adopted by the final policy to compensate telecom operators,” Mr Bhatia said.

On the other hand CMDA industry body Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (Auspi) supported government’s move to abolish roaming charges.

“It is a move which will empower subscribers and Auspi will supports government's move to abolish roaming charges,” Auspi secretary general SC Khanna said.

Spokesperson of GSM industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) was not available for comments.

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