Seeking an early solution to its wage settlement talks with the management, workers of Hero MotoCorp's Gurgaon plant today said they are keeping options open to go on strike but only as a last resort.
The workers, who held a protest rally in front of the company's factory gate here today, said they would continue to work normally without affecting production but the management 'must not test their patience'.
The rally was supported by unions from other companies, including Maruti Suzuki India's Gurgaon plant, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, Satyam Auto and Rico Auto.
"Strike is an option for us to press for our demands but we won't go for it right now. It will be the last resort," Hero MotoCorp Workers Union (HMCWU) President Kanwalpreet Singh told PTI here.
The union is demanding a hike in monthly wages of up to Rs 18,000 over a three-year period, which is nearly three times higher than what the company is offering.
Justifying the demand, Singh said: "If you look at what is happening around us, the hikes that are being given by other companies in the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt, it is a reasonable demand."
He further said: "If the management does not agree with our demands, we will not have any hesitation in going for strike."
When asked how long can the workers wait, Singh said: "We have been talking to the management for over six months now but there has been no solution over our wage settlement. They (management) should not test our patience."
When contacted, a Hero MotoCorp spokesperson said: "...we have been patiently carrying on with the conciliation process in the face of repeated provocations by the union, which has indulged in causing loss of unit volumes by slowing down production, frequent threats of strike and now this gate meeting in the presence of external elements."
The gate meeting was held despite the labour department advising the union against it. Indulgence in such provocative activities puts a lot of strain on the atmosphere of mutual trust and cordiality in which we have been holding talks in order to find an amicable settlement, he added.
"We, therefore, don't think this is the right path to adopt," the spokesperson said. Lending support to HMCWU, Maruti Udyog Kamgar Union (MUKU) President Kuldeep Janghu said: "We are behind the Hero workers but we are trying to facilitate an amicable solution so that it is a win-win situation for both the workers and the management. Strike does not help either side."
The protest rally was also addressed by representatives of Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, All India Trade Union Congress.
HMCWU leaders will have a tripartite meeting with the company's management and Haryana labour department officials in order to bring an end to the deadlock.
Singh said the management had issues a show-cause notice against six leaders HMCWU of last week, which would be replied accordingly.