Maruti Suzuki Limited: Industrial Relations
(10 pages of text)
In 2011, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), India’s largest car manufacturer, had three strikes in its new plant in Manesar, India. Although workers wanted recognition of a new union along with improved working conditions, MSIL insisted that workers be represented through the existing union that operated at a nearby plant. Tensions escalated to the point of violence and the matter caught the attention of national media, political parties, national trade unions, and central and state governments. Due to these strikes, MSIL struggled in terms of reputation and market share, and its component suppliers stockpiled inventory. After a series of hectic parleys and stressful episodes, the two parties reached an agreement. However, there were serious doubts as to its longevity and whether Suzuki’s Japanese management style was suitable in an Indian context.
See B case 9B14C048
This case offers a broad perspective on industrial unrest in the largest automobile company in India, using perhaps the most prominent case of labour unrest in modern industrial India up to 2011. The focus is on the tripartite system of labour management wherein the state intervenes between the workers and employers to reach a solution in an amicable manner. The case also deliberates on the tensions that arise when securing foreign investment and generating employment while denying the fundamental rights guaranteed to citizens to form trade unions. Students will become familiar with industrial relations and the automobile industry in India, as well as the challenges faced by a Japanese parent company and its Indian subsidiary.
India, Large, 2011
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