The Maruti Suzuki Alto - India's top-selling car. (Photo : Reuters)
Violence erupted this week at the Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar, an industrial town in the Indian state of Haryana. A riot broke out resulting in one death, 99 deaths, and 40 to 100 hospitalizations.
The Maruti car badge, which is responsible for nearly 45 percent of the Indian car market, is a subsidiary of the Japanese Suzuki Motor Corp. It produces fifteen models, including the Maruti Alto, India's best-selling car.
Like Us on Facebook
According to Bloomberg News, the dispute arose on July 18 and the alleged cause was the insult by a manager of a union worker's Dalit caste. The perceived insult resulted in the manager being beat up and management being prevented by union workers from leaving the building. Maruti claims that the workers set fires and ransacked offices. The majority of the injured are reportedly managers.
After police had secured the factory, a body was discovered burnt beyond recognition. The AP and other sources have identified the deceased as Avnish Kumar Dev, a human resources manager.
Indian workers have threatened to arrest all 3,000 of the plant's workers, Bloomberg said. Bloomberg also said that the Manesar factory produces 40 percent of Maruti's annual production output and has a production capacity of 550,000 cars a year.
The Indian car industry has been beset by union strife in the last year, and Maruti Suzuki experienced three strikes last year.
The latest incident may lead to a shutdown in production of eight to ten days.