July 19, 2012 / 5:16 AM / 7 years ago

One killed, over 90 injured in Maruti factory unrest

MUMBAI (Reuters) - One person was killed and scores injured in clashes between workers and managers at a Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS) plant, the company said on Thursday, with production suspended and shares in India’s biggest carmaker down more than eight percent.

Maruti Suzuki spokesman Puneet Dhawan said protesting workers at the Manesar plant in northern India attacked senior officials and started a fire at the plant. Labor unrest cost the company more than $500 million in lost production in 2011.

“The police have taken charge of the premises,” Dhawan said.

“One body was recovered from the premises, it is charred beyond recognition.”

The factory, which has a capacity of 550,000 vehicles a year and accounts for around a third of Maruti’s total output, will remain closed on Thursday, the company said.

Shares in the carmaker, owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp (7269.T), fell as much as 8.2 percent in early trade.

At least 90 officials were sent to hospital with injuries, Dhawan said. The protest by a workers’ union at the factory is over a disciplinary issue involving an employee.

“To resolve the issue amicably, members of the senior management met the union. During the talks, the workers attacked the members of the senior management, executives and managers,” Maruti said in the statement issued late on Wednesday.

There was no immediate comment from the workers’ union.

Maruti brokered a deal with workers late last year, ending weeks of strikes and protests that shut down its production and slashed its sales and market share.

Reporting by Henry Foy and Rafael Nam; Editing by Paul Tait

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