Tata Motors has asked 300 of its 3,600 temporary workers at its Jamshedpur unit not to report for duty from Monday.
Company officials said the reduction in demand for its vehicles in domestic and international market has compelled the management to reduce production leading to the downsizing of the workforce.
Till August, the Jamshedpur plant assembled 350-400 chassis a day. The target has come down to 225 to 250 per day, and given the present market scenario it might come down further forcing more lay offs.
“Downsizing is a normal process,” a spokesperson of the company said. “We hire or remove temporary workers as per our production target. It is an old practice.”
Tata Motors Workers’ Union spokesperson Bachcha Singh said temporary workers have been removed from their jobs for a short period. “Once the market situation improves, all of them would get back their jobs,” he said. “Taking into account the global recession, the union did not oppose the management’s step to lay off temporaries. We felt the management had no other option.”
Workers have greeted the decision with gloom and dismay. “It’s like a nightmare to lose your job just before Diwali,” said a worker. “Barely a month back, some 300 temporaries were called in to join duty.”
The decline in the production target of Tata Motors has also hit its ancillary units based in the Adityapur industrial area. “Production in the ancillaries has been slashed by over 25 per cent and it’s further going to come down,” said AK Srivastava, president, Seraikela Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Around 70 per cent of the 800 units in the area serve as ancillaries for Tata Motors. “Lay offs are also on the anvil”, said SN Thakur, president, Adityapur Small Industries Association.