A section of the employees of automaker Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) on Monday went on a flash strike at its manufacturing plant in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, demanding the reinstatement of over 60 colleagues dismissed last year.
"Production has stopped at the plant and nearly 1,500 workers are on strike asking for reinstatement of dismissed colleagues," Hyundai Motor India Employees Union (HMIEU) Vice President Thangapandiyan claimed.
The company, however, disputed the claim by saying that only about 150-200 workers were on strike. Terming the strike as illegal, HMIL said that it will not give in to their demands.
HMIL employs about 10,000 workers at its plant, which has a production capacity of around 50,000 units per month.
"The management has decided not to reinstate any more of the dismissed employees," a company spokesperson said.
In July last year, the management and striking workers signed a wage settlement agreement -- following which 20 of the 87 dismissed workers were reinstated. HMIL gave a pay increase of 21-24 per cent over a three-year period to the workers.
"As per the agreement, this strike and demand for the reinstatement of the rest is illegal. We hope the state government intervenes to ensure a solution to this matter," the spokesperson added.
HMIL said it had already reinstated 20 of the 87 persons dismissed in December last on "humanitarian grounds", based on negotiations held in the presence of the state government, and an agreement was reached in this regard.
The latest strike is the third instance of worker unrest in the plant within a year.
HMIEU had gone on strike from April 20 to May 7, 2009, demanding the union's recognition and denouncing the dismissal of 80 employees. The strike ended after a meeting was called by the state labour commissioner on May 17, 2009.
However, this strike was followed by another in July last year.