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Workers of Honda Motorcycle's Manesar plant stage protest march

The march started from the plant to Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner's office

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India
Honda Motorcycle

A section of workers of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India's (HMSI) Manesar plant on Friday took out a protest against the company's decision to sack contractual workers and suspend work at the facility.

The march started from the plant to Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner's office.

A worker union leader claimed that around 4,000-5,000 workers participated in the protest.

The Japanese two-wheeler major has suspended operations at the Manesar plant since first week of November as workers protested for a over a week against the retrenchment of their 200 contractual colleagues.

The stand-off at the facility, which employs around 1,900 permanent workers and 2,500 contract workers, began on November 5 morning when the company management did not allow some of the contractual workers to go inside the plant.

Employee Union leaders alleged that the company had reduced production of the facility by 50 per cent and was sacking contractual workers in the garb of slowdown.

"Some 4,000-5,000 workers participated in the march. We submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner demanding an early solution," a union leader told PTI.

When contacted, in a statement said the slowdown in the industry over the last 11 months has led to production adjustment and manpower realignment at the plant.

As an industry practice, the contractual workers whose term had been completed, were relieved from their work but permanent workers were still not impacted.

"Instigated by the union the relieved contractual workers were pressurised to sit in front of the union office which further resorted to illegally occupying the plant's premises," it said.

At the same time the contractual workers who were to join in the next shift, were also held back from going to their work stations, it added.

"Looking at the situation, management had no option than to initially declare holiday. Since the contractual workers continued to sit inside the premises in spite of several requests from the contractor and Labour department. Hence, the company had to stop normal operations at the Manesar plant until further notice," the company said.

Though the union has no direct role, they are intervening in the negotiation process between contractor and contractual employees, it alleged.

"The matter is now under discussion between the contractor and their employees. As per the notice issued by the contractor while they had already offered alternative job opportunity and monetary dues as per the prevailing law to those who are not willing to take the offer," said.

After contractual workers vacated the premises with support of local authorities and court, the normal production operation at the Manesar plant is likely to resume on from November 25, it added.

HMSI alleged that productivity at the Manesar plant was lowest among all its four facilities.

"Manpower efficiency increase is a basic expectation for productivity, more so in slowdown. The work culture of Manesar factory is embedded by high level of indiscipline instigated by the union," it alleged.

First Published: Fri, November 22 2019. 20:25 IST