Caste slur shuts down Maruti plant in Manesar

The labour relations at the Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar, Gurgaon, has acquired a caste colour. On Wednesday, a dalit worker alleged that his supervisor in the company made castiest remarks against him. The situation got violent after other workers came out in support of the victim. The violence led to a fire at the Maruti promises.

The scuffle that followed resulted in the injury of about a dozen workers and a few police personnel. The injured were taken to the civil hospital in Gurgaon. 'About eight person including the cops are critically injured and are under medical supervision,' said the doctors at the hospital.

The fire was brought under control immediately. However, the production at the plant has suffered.

'The supervisor made castiest remark against a permanent worker, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste category. When we opposed it, they misbehaved with us and suspended the worker,' Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union general secretary Sarabjeet Singh said.

While no immediate comments could be obtained from a Maruti Suzuki spokesperson, sources said there were violent incidents inside the plant and alleged that the workers also ransacked offices inside the premises. A worker said, 'Right now, the work is completely stopped, and we are vacating the plant.'

However, Singh claimed that the union had spoken to the management representatives, but there was no positive outcome. 'There is tension prevailing at the plant. About 1,500 workers of the morning shift have not left the complex so far. If the management does not take back the worker, we may stop our work,' Singh said.

However, the company management said in a statement, ‘Workers at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar Plant today turned violent, attacking and injuring executives and managers in the office premises. At least 40 managers and executives are injured, and have been rushed to hospital. The attackers also set fire to property and damaged facilities.’
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