Hyundai contests strike claim by group of employees, says work on

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 01, 2012 19:51 hrs

A section of workers at the Hyundai plant at Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, continued their strike on Thursday. Meanwhile, the union representatives have said they are meeting the state labour minister, to seek government's intervention.

Responding to the strike, Hyundai's spokesperson said “Production at two plants at Sriperumbudur continued to be on schedule even as 180 workers abstained from work on the second day since the illegal disruption of production on Tuesday, October 30”.

The statement added the company produced 2,054 cars on Tuesday, while on Wednesday the number rose to 2,157, despite 200 workers not showing up. “Today, the company will produce 2,176 cars,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, R Sridhar, general secretary, Hyundai Motor India Employees Union (HMIEU), backed by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and spearheading the strike, continues to claim that around 700 workers were in strike and said the company was making the workers do overtime to avoid any production loss.

He added union representatives would be meeting the Tamil Nadu labour minister this evening, for its intervention to resolve the issue.

The striking workers, lead by CITU-backed Hyundai Motor India Employees Union, are demanding that the management should reinstate 27 suspended employees, negotiate wage agreement with HMIEU and recognise it.

The company responded saying it has already recognised the United Union of Hyundai Employees (UUHE) as the official union, which has a majority membership of 1,300 permanent workers amongst a total strength of 2,007 permanent workers. The company signed a wage agreement with UUHE on October 18 and is categorical that it will not recognise any other union. Further, 400 employees who are not part of UUHE have signed and accepted the wage settlement.

A Soundararajan, general secretary, CITU, responded saying a secret ballot should be conducted to prove which Union has majority of the employees.

On Tuesday Hyundai in an official statement said 130 workers representing the minority CITU- affiliated HMIEU disrupted work illegally, affecting production for about 78 minutes. Hyundai Motor India produces 2,000 cars per day and the production loss because of the work disruption was estimated to be 59 cars. The company also stated that production has resumed and factory is functioning normally.

The company added that illegal action by this minority section of the workers had violated the unanimous decision of the Tripartite Committee dated December 9, 2010 and ratified by the labour department of Tamil Nadu.

Recently, the company said any activity which affects the business of the company would result in irreparable loss of around Rs 40 crore and loss of 2,100 cars a day. The company also said that its facility near Chennai, clocks turnover of around Rs 20,000 crore every year. This was said in an affidavit related to the labour issue in the factory, filed at the Madras High Court, copy of which is available with Business Standard, by Hyundai Motor India Ltd, the subsidiary of Hyundai Motor.

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