Maruti Suzuki cuts middlemen out of hiring temporary workers

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. has adopted a different model for hiring temporary workers at one of its plants, completely eliminating the role of middlemen, according to top company officials.

The subsidiary of Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp. and India’s largest carmaker is now hiring temporary workers directly, using the same selection criteria it uses to hire permanent employees, at one of its factories in India, R.C. Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India, said, adding that this hiring method may become the company’s general policy.

“We are trying out a different model to hire contract or temporary workers at our factory in Manesar (in the northern state of Haryana) … now we don’t use contractors for getting them,” Bhargava said.

“We select them on the same criteria that we would select regular workers … and are giving assurance to these guys that when vacancies arise, the permanent workers will be taken from amongst them,” he said. “We are still seeing how this experiment is working out and whether this experiment can then be made into a general policy.”

However, the company said that with a total of more than 22,600 employees, including temporary workers, it has reached maximum workforce levels at its factories in India.

“Not much hiring is taking place nowadays,” said one of the company’s labor union leaders, who spoke to NNA on condition of anonymity.

Maruti Suzuki, which holds over 47 percent of India’s passenger vehicle market, has adopted various industrial training institutes in the past few years to maintain a regular supply of skilled workers at its factories.

In the business year that ended March 31 last year, for example, the company hired 1,749 temporary workers from various institutes in India.

The firm is also setting up the Japan-India Institute of Manufacturing to train 300 Indian youths per year in technical trades and Japanese shopfloor practices such as kaizen (improvement) and quality-control circles based on curricula developed in Japan, with an initial investment of 32 million rupees (about ¥57 million).

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