By on July 20, 2012

Police in India is seeking to arrest the entire workforce of 3,000 at the Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar factory after a Wednesday riot left a manager killed, hundreds injured and the factory torched, Reuters says.  Maruti Suzuki’s factory is closed. A lengthy shutdown that could cost $15 million a day is expected.

“Part of the manufacturing area is burned, the whole building is burned, and the people who are running the factory are injured and admitted in the hospital, so it will take a little time,” said a Maruti Suzuki official.

Meanwhile, the Hindustan Times reports allegations that the riots were pre-planned. According to the report, workers had been piling up iron rods and wooden logs and were waiting for the right moment

Maruti Suzuki also called the riots an orchestrated act of mob violence.

Labor contractor Rakesh Choudhary, who was present at the spot when the violence erupted on Wednesday said: “Wednesday’s violence was planned. The workers were planning it for a week. It started at 8.30 am when supervisor Ram Kishore Majhi went to the production unit and (worker) Jiya Lal misbehaved with him when the former asked him to behave properly”. Choudhary said it was a trivial issue and the supervisor did not use any abusive language.

 

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14 Comments on “Suzuki Riots: Police Wants To Arrest Whole Workforce, Riots Pre-Planned...”


  • avatar
    GS650G

    Those considering moving production to India take notes.

    • 0 avatar
      marjanmm

      Neither this nor the previous article attempts to ask the rioters why they did it. There might be legitimate reasons.
      Do not look at it from the western point of view, working conditions in some developing countries sometimes approach slavery and it is not easy at all to just walk away and find another job.

      • 0 avatar
        minneapolis_lakers

        Apparently a manager from an upper caste insulted a worker from a lower caste with a slur and then things went out of control.

      • 0 avatar
        jeoff

        “Legitimate reasons”, or not, the threat of pre-planned riots resulting in murder and the destruction of a factory, is not generally considered a cost of doing business in the US.

      • 0 avatar

        So what legitimate reasons are there for murder, assault and arson? Are there different standards for morality in non-western countries?

        Do you really think that working conditions in a Suzuki factory in India are substantially different than the working conditions in a Suzuki factory anyplace else in the world? It’s a modern, five year old factory

  • avatar

    Proponents of low wages take notes?

    • 0 avatar
      gmichaelj

      In every relationship their should be a positive outcome for both sides. I wonder how long resentment was building. In college I took a class in labor relations and one of the key take-aways was that Unions only showed up where Management had screwed up. I’m not saying they should have done it – they should have quit and found better work elsewhere. But I’m sure there were warning signs that management ignored. Management is planning, leading, organizing and controlling. They failed and got hurt, now they’ll call in the police for justice. Revenge?

  • avatar
    indyb6

    Keep in mind that the state this factory is located in – Haryana is not the home to the most polite people on earth. I feel bad about saying this, but they can be compared to backwoods redneck hicks of USA, without all the money and guns. (Yes, American backwood rednecks are usually richer than most middle class people in developing nations)

    Low literacy, always angry, rednecky young guys who are very impressionable and easily gullible. Add severe corruption, poverty, lack of females (lookup the sex ratio in that region) and an ultra conservative (socially) society to that mix. Crap is always waiting to happen.

    Note that BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Renault-Nissan and Honda are successfully running assembly/manufacturing plants elsewhere in the country without much issues.

    I am not saying that it happened only because of the location of the plant. There must have been lots of other factors. Lots of details that the media doesn’t know about or does not want to make public.

    All I am trying to say is that companies should not base their decision exclusively on this incident.

    And to those who say “they should have quit and found a job elsewhere” – Well, quite frankly it IS next to impossible for most people to do so. I went to college with lots of kids whose parents were dirt poor and there wasn’t a thing they could do to get out of that vicious cycle. Not every country/society/economy gives people as much opportunity as the American system.

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    “Well, quite frankly it IS next to impossible for most people to do so.”

    Yes, I agree that it is difficult to do, but I think it is a better alternative than killing your boss.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Sounds like it’s reaching the point where Suzuki will need to decide whether to fish or cut bait. It might be harder to reinstall management than we think. Sort of like finding police recruits in Iraq.

  • avatar
    Steve65

    If your workforce is so disgruntled that they planned and carried out a violent assault, you’ve got serious labor relations problems. Most likely related to a “we’ve got you over an economic barrel and we’re going to abuse the effing hell out of you you can take it or starve” approach. Pointing a finger at them and shouting “bad workers, behave yourselves” is a nice “blinders on” feel good strategey, but it’s far less useful than understanding the reason, and fixing it.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    No matter how serious the problems were at that plant, it’s illogical to destroy your livelihood. I’m not sure the issue is caste or culture.

    Years ago, celebrities were asked what advice they would give to aliens from another world on how to deal with the human race. Comedian Steve Allen advised, “Be wary of us. Don’t trust us. We cannot even be relied on to act in our own self-interest.” He may have been right.

  • avatar
    Pastor Glenn

    Sad.

    Looks like Maruti Suzuki didn’t do enough due diligence about the workforce and ‘culture’ in the area.

    Mr. Suzuki may well just say “move it.” Perhaps to a civilized area of India. Who could blame him?

    Kind of like Hyundai realizing in 1994 after a 5 year experience in Quebec, that the workforce there was perhaps not as advertised.

    Hyundai learned – they put a new plant in Montgomery, Alabama and in fact it is going to go to a 3rd shift soon, with a good workforce – making excellent wages (for the area).

    Not forgetting that Alabama is in no way comparable to India – obviously. I haven’t heard of any workplace violence such as this anywhere in the USA since the early part of LAST century, in fact.

  • avatar
    indyb6

    After having stated what I did about people of Haryana, let me be clear that I am in no way defending their actions. They are IDIOTS. Violence is never the solution.

    And their actions helped paint a bad picture of India. I am pretty sure they don’t give a truck about what image they are projecting, but the damage has been done.

    I was just trying to convince my fellow ttac’ers to not judge a whole country based on the actions of a group. I repeat again – the people who did this are IDIOTS. they must have had their reasons, but riots and killings are not acceptable.

    That is all I have to say.


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