The country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India has successfully reached a wage agreement with workers at its Gurgaon and Manesar plants, under which employees will get an average salary hike of around R16,800 per month spread over the next three years. Further, since the settlement was reached peacefully without any hostility, managing director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa has also promised to pay R3,000 each to the workers as a one-time incentive.
The development bodes well not only because the agreement was signed amicably between the unions and the management after gruesome violence three years ago, but also because it would set the ground for peaceful negotiations in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt, home to a large number of auto and auto components manufacturers.
Under the three-year agreement, to be implemented with retrospective effect from April this year, the workers will receive 50% of the increased salary in the first year and 25% each in the remaining two years.
“For the first time, the unions of both Gurgaon and Manesar plants, including those of Maruti Suzuki Powertrain, reached an amicable agreement with the management late Thursday evening,” Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union general secretary Kuldeep Janghu said.
Under the pact, he said, “On an average, the salary hike per worker is around R16,800 per month, of which R8,430 will be given in the first year and R4,200 each in the second and third years.”
Talks between the workers and the management had been on since April this year.
In the 2012 wage agreement, workers had got an average salary hike of Rs 18,000, spread over three years, while in 2009, the average salary increase was around Rs 7,000 per month.
The agreement is valid from April 2015 to March 31, 2018. Janghu said that the management has also agreed to pay Rs 2,000 per month as transport allowance to those workers who use their own vehicles for seven years.
Company sources said the average hike in the salary of workers will be 38% over three years compared with their remuneration in 2014-15.
In July 2012, the company’s plant in Manesar was hit by workers’ violence in which an HR executive was killed. The company had to declare a lockout at the plant, resulting in the halting of production for some time. The company subsequently took a number of remedial actions which included an agreement not to involve temporary workers in core production areas.