Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Sacked GM workers seek to be part of plant transfer deal with Hyundai

With the Indian units of American automobile major General Motors and Korean Hyundai Motor initiating steps for smooth transfer of the former’s closed down car manufacturing unit at Talegaon to the latter, more than 1,000 laid off GM workers have sought to be part of the proposed transfer deal.

Hyundai Motor India on March 13 signed a term sheet for the potential acquisition of land and buildings and certain machinery and equipment at General Motors India’s Talegaon plant. 

The laid off GM workers are peeved that there has been no mention about them in the term sheet. The workers’ union is fighting cases in the labour court challenging termination of their employment, and demanding continued employment with any new owner of the plant.

The workers had demanded that they be hired by Great Wall Motor (GWM) of China which had initiated steps to acquire the GM plant. However, the deal collapsed in the face of continued litigation by the workers and due to lack of approval from the Centre.

Recently, top authorities of General Motors and Hyundai Motor met Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had reportedly assured them of support.

“The employees have requested that all the permanent employees to be transferred to Hyundai Motors and continue their employment. Hence, we request you to issue the necessary orders to ensure that all the permanent employees of General Motors India Pvt. Ltd. at Talegaon are retained by Hyundai Motors,” an MLA from Maharashtra wrote to Mr. Fadnavis. 

More than 150 such letters had been written in support of the workers and the objective is to mobilise support from the rest of the MLAs.

Uday Samant, Minister for Industries, Maharashtra, told  The Hindu that the Deputy CM was aware of the workers’ demand and that a solution would be worked out.

“We will sort out the issue. I will personally go and speak to the workers and the company representatives. We are supporting the workers cause and their issue will be addressed,” Mr. Samant said.

A worker asking not to be named said, “When two multinational companies are getting benefitted, why should the government not think about the livelihood of over 5,000 locals from over 1,000 workers’ families.”

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