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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Hero workers demand wage hike, threaten stir

Deevakar Anand, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, February 13, 2013
First Published: 01:00 IST(13/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:01 IST(13/2/2013)

Workers of Hero Motocorp’s Gurgaon plant, who have been demanding a hike in their wages, on Tuesday threatened to go on strike if the management failed to meet their demands.

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Leaders of the Hero MotoCorp Workers Union (HMCWU) threatened to strike work if the management did not give them a three-fold hike in monthly wages. At present the workers are given Rs. 6,500 per month. Union leaders, however, said that strike will be the last resort and an option under “very compelling situation”.

“What we are demanding is parity in our salaries with our counterparts in the Honda and Maruti plants. We bear the same cost of living in Gurgaon, as they do. Our patience is being tested for long now as the wage settlement is pending since August last year,” (HMCWU) President Kanwalpreet Singh told HT.

According to a Hero Motocorp spokesperson, the workers held a meeting even though the labour department had advised against such a move.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

“We will still continue to engage with the workers towards achieving this objective of reaching a sustainable, steady and sensible wage settlement, without allowing ourselves to be coerced into irrational decisions by such pressure tactics,” the spokesperson added.

The police and security personnel, stationed both inside and outside the  plant, kept a close watch, through the hour-long meeting attended by nearly 2,000 workers, including those working in other automobile units of the Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal belt. Trade union body Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) also backed Tuesday’s protest.

Labourers from Hero Motocorp’s Dharuhera plant, Maruti’s Gurgaon and Manesar plants, Honda motors, Rico and Satyam Auto also took part in Tuesday’s meeting.

Labour unrest is seething at the plant as several rounds of negotiations facilitated by the labor department, have failed to settle the dispute on wage hike settlement of nearly 1,200 workers.

The management, last week, had issued show-cause notices to six workers, including the union president, over an alleged attempt by them to slow down production, causing loss to the company.
 
The agitating workers and management will meet again on Wednesday in the presence of labour department officials.


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