2 Days Off at Maruti’s Manesar Plant – But Workers Far From Happy
India’s largest auto manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki, shut down production at two plants for two days amid a slowdown.
Video Editor: Vivek Gupta
It’s a bright Saturday morning and 35-year-old Ravinder Singh is preparing to drive down all the way to his hometown in Haryana’s Jind. The 200 km-long drive from Farukh Nagar – around 25 km from Gurugram – will take the Maruti Suzuki worker and his family of three far away from the din and bustle of everyday life.
But Singh isn’t excited about this unexpected two days he was given off work – 7 and 9 September, with a Sunday in between. Instead, he is anxious that his company’s Manesar plant had to stop production for these two days at all.
Billed as the country’s largest automobile manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki witnessed a year-on-year drop of 34 percent in car sales in August 2019.
This sharp drop in sales led to a piling up of inventory, following which Maruti Suzuki reportedly decided to sync its production output with reduced demand – a demand so weak that the company had to close down production in its Manesar and Gurugram plants on 7 and 8 September.
“This holiday was announced suddenly. The plant has been shut down because of the auto sector slowdown. This is the reason Maruti Suzuki announced a holiday. It is not good news for us. We don’t want such holidays.”Ravinder Singh
Singh has been working with Maruti Suzuki for over 10 years.
'Never Seen Auto Sector Slowdown Like This One’
While the decision to shut Maruti Suzuki’s twin plants in Haryana for two days is almost unprecedented, what is significant is the slowdown in the lives of people the sector employs.
Hailing from Haryana’s Hisar district, Pradeep Chahal has delayed plans of building a house. Remembering his long association with Maruti, Chahal, a mechanical-level worker, says he has “never seen the sector slowdown like this.”
“It has has only progressed year after year,” he adds.
But now, he and his colleagues are feeling the slowdown, not just inside the factory, but also in their lives. Chahal says it’s not Maruti Suzuki’s problem alone.
“All over the auto sector, it is down,” he says.
According to reports, in August 2019, Tata Motors cut its production by 52 percent and Mahindra by 37 percent.
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