New Delhi: Contract workers at two-wheeler manufacturer, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India’s (HMSI) Manesar plant have decided to go on an indefinite strike and are demanding either Rs 1 lakh yearly compensation from the company or a permanent status.
According to Auto India Contract Worker Union (AlCWU), around 200 contractual workers were ousted citing slowdown within the industry, with a promise of contracts to be renewed as market sentiments will uplift.
These contracts usually get renewed after 11 months, but this time the company refused to renew and instead hired cheap labour to replace them, a worker at HMSI told ETAuto requesting anonymity.
“Workers with an average salary of Rs 14,000 a month are being replaced by ones who are doing the work at Rs 8,000,” the worker mentioned.
As the contracts of did not get renewed after three-four months as promised, the workers were informed to find work at some other place leading to a tool-down strike against retrenchment.
The strike began on November 5 and as of today, around 2,000 workers are protesting at the Manesar plant are seeking compensation.
The contracts with the company, however, have no mention of any kind of compensation HMSI is liable to pay to the workers as the term ends, said sources familiar with the matter.
Among employees to whom pink slips were handed over, the union asserted, many were on the verge of getting a permanent status within the company.
“In order to avoid giving permanent job functions, the company has let go of employees. The workers are made to hand over signed letter of their leaving in the beginning of their working tenure, so when the end of term is near, the company can use the letter,” said Shyam Murti, a union worker at AlCWU.
He also underlined the workers have been associated with the company for more than seven years and were expected to be taken on a permanent payroll.
Honda has 4,000 workers at their Manesar plant where around 50 per cent are hired on a contract basis. The plant has an annual capacity of 1.5 million units which has been cut by 50 per cent, as per a report by PTI.
The production has only been cut in this plant while others plants continue to follow their normal routine.
The company had made a statement, “Based on demand fluctuations & production adjustments, 200 contractual members whose term had been completed are relieved from their work. Necessary recruitment will be considered on the basis of future market requirements.”
Meanwhile, the union is in talks with the company for further negotiations.
As per sources, the company will be discussing the matter internally and will soon be coming out with their final stance on this matter.