Honda suspends production at Manesar plant indefinitely; contract workers continue strike seeking compensation for sacked employees

  • The protesting employees demanded either reinstatement or compensation of Rs 1 lakh per worker for each year of service

  • HMSI Employees' Union president Suresh Gaur said talks with the management and labour department officials are underway

  • In August this year, it was reported that HMSI had laid off about 700 contract workers recently at its Manesar manufacturing plant

Production at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India's (HMSI) Manesar plant in Haryana has reportedly been suspended temporarily after about 1,500 contract workers went on a strike following the sacking of workers recently, said a report in Hindustan Times.

The contract workers are on protest at HMSI's Manesar plant from 5 November after the company sacked about 650 contract workers over a period of 10 days and the employees demanded either reinstatement or compensation of Rs 1 lakh per worker for each year of service, the report said quoting the workers’ union leaders.

On 10 October, the HMSI management issued a notice informing that the plant would remain shut till further intimation, according to a report in The Hindu.

 Honda suspends production at Manesar plant indefinitely; contract workers continue strike seeking compensation for sacked employees

Representational image. Photo courtesy: Honda

HMSI Employees’ Union president Suresh Gaur said talks with the management and labour department officials are underway to end the impasse, but they could not reach an amicable settlement, the report said. The permanent workers are also helping the protesting employees by supplying food and other essential commodities.

However, the labour department officials claimed that the management may not succumb to the demands of the striking workers, according to a report in The Times of India.

“It is a lot of money, especially for a company that is facing a downturn,” a source was quoted as saying in the report.

HMSI Employee Union leaders alleged that the company has reduced the production of the facility by 50 percent and is in the process of retrenching more contractual workers.

The stand-off began a week ago with the management not allowing some of the contractual workers to enter the plant, Gaur said.

The Manesar facility has 1,900 permanent workers and 2,500 contract workers and has a total capacity of around 3,000 two-wheelers a day. It rolls out the popular models such as scooters Dio and Activa and Unicorn motorcycle.

In August this year, it was reported that HMSI had laid off about 700 contract workers at its Manesar manufacturing plant due to a production cut.

The persistent slump in two-wheeler sales and a pile-up of inventories with the dealers led to a production cut since December last year. This situation led to laying off of workers.

A few workers who lost the job at HMSI had been working with the two-wheeler manufacturer for about 10 years.

In October, HMSI had reported a marginal decline in total sales at 5,17,808 units. The company had sold 5,21,170 units in the same month last year, reported PTI.

Domestic sales during the month stood at 4,87,782 units, a marginal decline from 4,90,135 units in October last year.

Exports in October were at 30,026 units as compared with 31,035 units in the year-ago month, down 3.25 percent.

Total two-wheeler sales had declined 14.43 percent to 17,57,264 units compared to 20,53,497 units in the year-ago month, reported PTI.

Motorcycle sales, too, declined in October by 15.88 percent to 11,16,970 units as against 13,27,758 units a year earlier.

"Two-wheelers largely cater to mobility requirements in the rural area. In the past few months, there have been various disruptions like floods and excessive rainfall in several regions. However, we expect things to change for better starting this month," SIAM president Rajan Wadhera said.

Scooter sales in the sector last month declined by 9.83 percent to 5,80,120 units as against 6,43,382 units in the year-ago period. — With PTI inputs

 

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Updated Date: Nov 12, 2019 14:32:19 IST