As wage talks fail, Hero MotoCorp workers to go ahead with strike plan

Written by Roudra Bhattacharya | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 23 2013, 09:16am hrs
Workers of Hero MotoCorp's Gurgaon plant have confirmed that they will go ahead with their plans to go on a partial strike from Wednesday, slowing down production by over 30% at the factory which makes close to 7,000 two-wheelers every day.

The workers had threatened the same on Monday after talks on a wage deal with the company management broke down, as previously reported by FE.

Sources close to the development said that the next round of negotiations has now been scheduled for Friday, January 25 in the presence of labour department officials.

Over 50 meetings on the wage deal for the approximately 1,400 permanent workers represented by Hero MotoCorp Workers Union (HMCWU) at the Gurgaon plant have already been held since September last year.

We will surely go ahead with our plans to slow down production from Wednesday since there has been no positive response from the company management on our demands yet. There is really no option left for us. But we will be peaceful, said a member of union.

Hero has been sticking to its guns of offering a R7,500 monthly salary hike to workers at the Gurgaon plant, while HMCWU has asked for double of that, at least a R15,000 increase.

The workers want the hike to match the salary increases recently offered by both Honda and Maruti Suzuki to its workers at their nearby plants around a 50% jump. However, Hero feels that since it is already the best pay-master in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt, it would like to keep the salary hike for the Gurgaon plant at the same level to what it offered to workers at its other nearby plant at Dharuhera in a 2011 wage deal.

Hero MotoCorp though, remained unfazed despite threats of a strike severely impacting production.

We have had several rounds of talks with members of the union at our Gurgaon plant with the hope of a reasonable, sustainable and sensible settlement. We will continue to engage with the workers towards achieving this objective of reaching an amicable solution, without allowing ourselves to be coerced into decisions governed by external pressure tactics, a company spokesperson said.