The Nikkei’s good contacts to Suzuki (CEO Osamu Suzuki occasionally blogs for The Nikkei) did not fail the Tokyo wire. Yesterday it was reported on a rumor basis, today, it is officially confirmed that Maruti Suzuki will restart production at its Manesar factory on August 21, about a month after a mob killed the firm’s human resources manager and burned down parts of the factory. The factory makes the Swift hatchback.
According to Reuters, Maruti Suzuki will start making 150 cars a day from Tuesday with 300 workers, while 500 armed police will be on standby to ensure safety. Maruti Suzuki’s chairman, R.C. Bhargava, says the company created its own force of 100 guards in addition to existing security. This makes for two members of security forces for each worker. Managers and supervisors will received bodyguards.
300 workers is a far cry from the former 1,700 worker level. Additional workers might be harder to find than police men. Says Reuters:
“After last month’s violence, police initially sought to detain all 2,500 workers who may have been present in the plant at the time. Most of those workers fled. Police now say only a few hundred workers may have been involved in the riot, but Maruti could face an uphill task finding enough workers to operate the plant after the violence.”