Hero MotoCorp said it cannot accept the demands of its Gurgaon plant workers of a wage hike similar to the recent 50% increase given by both Maruti Suzuki and Honda Motorcycle & Scooters India (HMSI), as its wage levels are already the highest among peers and is likely to remain so for around three years.
An increase of the same level will severely impact profitability and force its 300-400 suppliers to move out of the region because of their inability to match the same wages.
This follows a ‘silent protest’ by workers at the Gurgaon plant of India’s top two-wheeler maker since January 4, under which they have been wearing black bands and boycotting snacks provided by the company. Coming barely four months after Maruti settled its violent labour dispute at the nearby Manesar plant, Hero’s worker union has also said that it may have to resort to a tool-down strike or slowdown in production if the demands are not met.
“The company should pay us as per the higher living costs in the NCR. They can afford, they are the number one in the market for 13 years and our wages should reflect that,” a source in the worker union said.
Wage negotiations for the around 1,100 permanent workers at the plant have been on since September last year and the revisions are applicable retrospectively from August 1, 2012. While the previous wage deal was for four years, this time it will be reduced to three.