India’s top carmaker Maruti Suzuki said today that more than 500 workers had been sacked after staff rioted at a plant near New Delhi last month in violence that left one manager dead.
“Of the 1,500-odd regular workers, we have issued notices dispensing with their services to 500-odd so far,” company chairman R.C. Bhargava told reporters.
During the riot on July 18, workers chased managers with iron rods and car parts, attacking them and torching equipment in unrest triggered by a row between an employee and a supervisor, according to witnesses.
A personnel manager, whose legs were broken, was unable to flee and burned to death in an office area. Nearly 100 other supervisors were injured.
Bhargava said that production, which was halted at the Manesar plant after the riot, would be partially re-started on August 21 with 200 anti-riot police on duty inside the factory.
Maruti is majority-owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor which receives more than a quarter of its revenues from India.
The Indian unit, the country’s largest carmaker by sales, has lost some $9 million a day from the plant shutdown, analysts calculate.
The plant has a history of industrial disputes but none as violent as the July riot which shocked corporate India.