Repeating instances of labour trouble for Maruti Suzuki at its Manesar plant has prompted the car maker to change its recruitment strategy. Previously, Maruti Suzuki used to hire local youth holding ITI certificate holders to be a part of its production workforce at the Manesar, Rohtak and Gurgaon factories. Now though, the car maker plans to hire ITI holders from across the country, as workforce to run the assembly line at its factories in the National Capital Region. Gujarat is one such location from where Maruti Suzuki plans to hire no less than 1,000 workers.
An assembly line at one of Maruti Suzuki’s factories used as an iluustration
On the 30th of January, 2013, Maruti Suzuki officials will head to the Industrial Training Institute, Kubernagar (Ahmedabad) for recruitment of 1,000 ITI holders. The new recruits will be inducted into the Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant, even as the car maker now has 1,000 vacancies in Manesar. The vacancies at Manesar are across a wide range of functions, ranging from automobile technicians and electricians to painters, turners and fitters. These vacancies come on the back of Maruti Suzuki’s decision to sack over 500 workers who allegedly participated in the violence that brought production to a grinding halt at the Manesar plant in 2012 while also leading to the death of a senior Human Resources manager.
The violence and the strike that followed disrupted production, leading to waiting periods mounting, some customers shifting to other car brands while also resulting in a big loss for Maruti Suzuki. Following this violence, Maruti Suzuki hiked salaries of workers at Manesar, which was one of the major demands of the agitating workers, apart from less stressful working conditions. Similar recruitment drives for the Manesar plant have been carried out in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Perhaps Maruti Suzuki feels that hiring workers from diverse locations of India will lead to the quelling of the frequent labour unrest.
Manwhile, Maruti Suzuki is planning to invest about INR 4,000 Crores to set up a new factory at Hansalpur, Gujarat. This plant is expected to focus on exports in a big way. Given that Gujarat is situated on the western frontier of India and has well developed port infrastructure, Maruti Suzuki is expected to use the Gujarat factory for stepping up exports to not just Europe, but also Africa and the Middle East. The Gujarat facility is expected to become operational by the middle of 2015.