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Bellasonica Suspends 3 Union Members Amid Worker-Management Dispute in Manesar

The union alleged the management had wrongfully attributed the three suspended permanent workers for activities like “hindering” production.
Management-Worker Tension Escalates in Bellsonica’s Manesar Plant

File Photo. Image Courtesy: Peoples Dispatch

New Delhi: The union-management conflict at auto manufacturing company Bellsonica’s plant in Manesar has taken a new turn with the management suspending three union members for an indefinite period. The union said the three members were part of the permanent workforce and alleged that the management had wrongfully attributed their activities as “hindering” production in the plant.

As a first-tier vendor for the auto sector, Bellsonica has clients like Maruti Suzuki in Manesar, Gurgaon. As previously reported, there have been multiple instances of conflict between workers and management at Bellsonica's Manesar plant since the beginning of 2021. One such instance took place when the management filed a chargesheet against 33 workers, accusing them of using fraudulent documentation to secure the jobs.

Another point of dispute was providing union membership to a contractual worker, which the management deemed as illegal. The management also wrote a letter to the Haryana labour department, urging it to disqualify the union’s status. The matter is still under process.

Speaking with NewsClick, Mohinder Kapoor, former president of the Bellsonica Employees Union, who was suspended, referred to the latest action as the initial step toward “permanent termination” of union members, a “long-standing objective” of the company's management.

“The management is following a similar strategy as Maruti by provoking workers to take unnecessary action, which could then be used as a basis for their suspension. We have yet not received the chargesheet for our suspension, which indicates that the management is busy fabricating charges against us,” he added.

Singh also alleged Haryana Police’s involvement with the Bellsonica management. “Since June 17, there has been constant police presence in the company’s premises. What does that say about the police department?”,

Multiple attempts by NewsClick to contact Mritunjay Nath Sahu, vice president, human resources (HR), at Bellsonica, failed.

Meanwhile, as per a statement released by the union, a series of meetings have been taking place at the company, with the most recent one on March 17. During this meeting, the management, which included Sahu, M.S Malik, a consultant, Maan Singh Nikhora, the manager and his assistant, gave the three employees their suspension letters and requested them to sign. The workers, however, declined to sign the documents and tore them up instead. Further, they claimed that the management even threatened to involve the police if they did not comply.

In the meantime, the suspended union members have approached the Haryana labour department to file a complaint against the management’s move.

Ajit Singh, another dismissed union member of the union, narrated the plight of workers. He alleged the Bellsonica management was “specifically targeting the permanent workforce with the goal of completely eliminating them.”

“Despite the labour department's instruction to maintain the current status quo between the union and workers, the suspension of union leaders demonstrates that the management has no regard for constitutionally defined labour laws”, Singh told NewsClick.

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