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Maruti's Manesar workers apply for re-registration of union

The workers have decided to retain the previously proposed name Maruti Suzuki Employees’ Union (MSEU) and a new bunch of leaders have emerged to take forward their cause. The proposed union will be an internal and independent body as the management has been opposed to the formation of an externally affiliated new union

New Delhi: Unfazed by the ‘betrayal’ by their former leaders, workers at Maruti Suzuki’s (MSI) Manesar plant are working towards forming a union and have applied again for registration to the Haryana labour department, reports PTI.

The workers have decided to retain the previously proposed name Maruti Suzuki Employees’ Union (MSEU) and a new bunch of leaders have emerged to take forward their cause.

According to a worker at the plant, Ram Mehar Singh has been nominated as new president of MSEU, Sarabjit Singh as new general secretary of the body.

MSEU former president Sonu Gujjar and ex-general secretary Shiv Kumar, along with 28 other suspended workers, which included all the former office-bearers of MSEU, had left the firm after taking a severance package of Rs16 lakh each.

“Sonu Gujjar, Shiv Kumar and other people have betrayed us. We do not know why they have done this, but we will move ahead. We have again applied for registration of our union to the labour department in Chandigarh on last Friday,” a worker who did not want his name to be made public said.

In July, MSEU’s application for registration was declined by the Haryana labour department on technical grounds.

The worker further said: “This time we are very careful and we are taking care of all the regulations. We have already informed the company in writing about our new application”.

He further said the union will be an internal and independent body. MSI management has been opposed to the formation of an externally affiliated new union at the plant.

When contacted, a Maruti Suzuki India spokesperson said: “Yes, the company has received in writing from the workers”.

Earlier, the 14-day-long strike by workers of MSI’s Manesar plant in which workers of Suzuki Powertrain India and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd also joined, was called off in the early hours of 21st October after the managements, the workers and the Haryana government arrived at separate tripartite agreements.

Unrest had been continuing at the Manesar plant since June, obstructing car production thrice in the past five months. In June, workers had gone on a 13-day sit-in after the management blocked their efforts to get recognition from the Haryana labour department for an independent union.

On 29th August, the workers were denied entry to the plant after they refused to sign a ‘Good Conduct Bond’, as insisted by the management, before joining duty. This led to a 33-day-long dharna by the workers outside the plant. The issue was resolved on 30th September.

The worker strike is said to have cost MSI Rs1,500 crore. Maruti is not the only company that is bearing the brunt of strikes in recent times. Over the last two years, there have grave incidents of labour unrest in Bosch’s Bangalore unit, Moser Baer’s Noida plant and the respective Chennai facilities of Hyundai and Nokia.

While MSI plans to set up a production unit at Mehsana in Gujarat, the company clarified that it has nothing to do with the recent labour problems in Manesar.

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Anna Hazare to restructure Core Committee

The social activist’s move to restructure his core team came against the backdrop of allegations that he was being misguided and used by his team members to fulfil their political agenda

Ralegaon Siddhi (Maharashtra): With his team rocked by controversies, social activist Anna Hazare on Monday said he plans to restructure his Core Committee to also give representation to religious minorities, tribals, Dalits and youths to strengthen the campaign against corruption, reports PTI.

Mr Hazare also hit out at the central government for targeting the key members of his team, alleging that those who are threatened by the Lokpal (anti-corruption ombudsman) movement are attacking his supporters and close aides and trying to break his team.

“They fear that their political career will be jeopardised if a strong Lokpal mechanism comes into effect,” he told reporters at his native village here in Maharashtra.

The social activist’s move to restructure his core team came against the backdrop of allegations that he was being misguided and used by his team members to fulfil their political agenda. Some key members in Team Anna—Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal—also faced alleged financial irregularities.

“We will take all sections in the Core Committee, Dalits, Muslims, Adivasis and all others. Nobody should complain that they were not given a chance,” the anti-corruption crusader said.

“Even youth will be well represented. Youth’s power in the committee is extremely necessary. Youths from different communities will be picked for the committee,” he added.

Mr Hazare recalled that when the Core Committee was formed there were complaints from some sections they were not given representation.

“That committee was for two-and-a-half months. But the committee that we will form now will be for a much longer period,” he added.

Mr Hazare said he and his team will not be cowed down by anyone and challenged the government to show any evidence of misconduct or irregularities committed by his team members.

“We have nothing to fear. The government is free to conduct any investigation against any of our team members but our fight against corruption will continue. Do it (the inquiry) not once but four times,” he added.

Ms Bedi is under the scanner regarding some inflated air travel bills while Mr Kejriwal faced allegations of diverting funds to his trust.

Plagued by controversies, Team Anna is also approaching retired judges requesting them to become part of a committee to be set up the civil society to probe the allegations against some of its members.

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