Hero fears row over hikes may hit production

Jan 18 2013, 01:05 IST
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SummaryHero MotoCorp, which is facing a silent protest by workers at its Gurgaon plant over wage revision, has offered a hike of around R7,500 per month but has so far not been able to convince the workers, who are demanding around double the offered amount at Rs.14,000-15,000 per month, sources said.

Hero MotoCorp, which is facing a silent protest by workers at its Gurgaon plant over wage revision, has offered a hike of around R7,500 per month but has so far not been able to convince the workers, who are demanding around double the offered amount at R14,000-15,000 per month, sources said. The company’s management is worried that if the protest — which began on January 4 and entails workers working with black armbands but not resorting to violence or affecting production — is not resolved soon, it may take a turn for worse and affect production.

Sources said that the latest offer of a hike of R7,500 was made at a tripartite meeting of the management, workers and officials from the Gurgaon additional labour commissioner’s office on Wednesday evening. In fact, at the meeting the company increased its offer from the previous amount of around R6,500, which was similar to what was given to workers at its other plant at nearby Dharuhera in 2011.

When contacted, a company spokesperson said: “This information is incorrect. We have been holding talks with members of the Union at our Gurgaon plant with the hope of a reasonable and sustainable settlement. It is, therefore, not appropriate at this point of time to get into specific details with regard to the ongoing talks, until we reach an amicable conclusion.”

“Negotiations were on till late Wednesday evening under which the company increased its offer from R6,500 to R7,500. The company probably feels that it can’t hike wages at Gurgaon much more than what has already been offered at Dharuhera plant in 2011, so as not to create a discord since the two plants are located within a span of few kilometres,” a source said.

According to the company, the average monthly wage at the Gurgaon plant stands at R46,000, while new entrants get R40,000, a significant portion of the salaries being variable based on performance.

“As a company we are known for maintaining good employee relations. The wage negotiations are being done in a peaceful manner and we are hopeful that both parties will reach a settlement soon,” Hero MotoCorp CFO Ravi Sud said in an investor call on Thursday following the announcement of the company’s third-quarter earnings.

A source at the Gurgaon plant union said that the workers will continue with the ‘silent protest’ for another week before looking at options like a tool-down strike or a slowdown

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