Even as some workers protest, General Motors’ Halol plant set for a ‘peaceful’ move

By: |
Ahmedabad | Published: April 6, 2017 5:04:57 AM

Transfer orders were handed out to the employees about two weeks ago, but some workers have protested against it, claiming that the company has not communicated “clearly” with them regarding the change in their salaries.

Transfer orders were handed out to the employees about two weeks ago, but some workers have protested against it, claiming that the company has not communicated “clearly” with them regarding the change in their salaries.

The Gujarat government has expressed confidence that the General Motors’ Halol plant will witness a “peaceful” transition for its workers moving to the company’s Talegaon plant by May 15, even as a section of workers continues to protest against the move.

Transfer orders were handed out to the employees about two weeks ago, but some workers have protested against it, claiming that the company has not communicated “clearly” with them regarding the change in their salaries.

Meanwhile, China’s largest automaker SAIC Motor Corp, on Wednesday, in a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange, said it had signed a formal agreement to buy a General Motors factory in India. The company had, for long, been in talks with GM to buy the Halol unit, but only if the plant came without the employed workers.

A senior official of the Gujarat government’s Labour department told FE, “Of the 550 workers at the Halol plant, about 450 are ready to move to Talegaon. In Halol, the average salary for a worker is `33,000 per month. About two months back, a settlement was reached between the company and the workers for increasing their salary by `9,000 each month. At the Talegaon plant, workers are being paid `55,000 and the Halol workers want an assurance that they will also be paid the same amount. The company is also willing to give them the assurance, in writing, that they will be paid the same amount, but they are hesitant to declare it since then the workers could make other demands.”

Also Watch:

Claiming the matter to be “very sensitive”, the official refused to be identified. Speaking to FE, Rachit Soni, president, General Motors’ Employee Union, said, “We have been on a hunger strike for more than 15 days now, protesting against the forced transfer. If the Gujarat government wanted, they could easily make the company stop this injustice, but the government is supporting the company.”

Soni insisted that none of the workers had agreed to be transferred to the Talegaon plant.In July 2015, General Motors had first announced that they wanted to shut the Halol plant and instead expand its Talegaon facility, located in neighbouring Maharashtra. The state government had, at the time, demanded that the company rehabilitate its workers before shutting the unit.

According to a senior labour official based in Gandhinagar, the company has also offered a “generous” voluntary separation scheme to workers not willing to shift to Talegaon. He told FE, “Workers have been given two options. If they want to shift, they can shift with an increased salary as well as other benefits which include the company paying a portion of the workers’ house rent as well as the school fees for their children.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.