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Truce in auto belt

delhi Updated: Oct 28, 2009 00:02 IST
Sanjeev K. Ahuja
Sanjeev K. Ahuja
Hindustan Times

The nearly two-month-long stand-off between the management and workers of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) ended on Tuesday after a marathon 17-hour meeting.

The third production line at the Manesar-based HMSI plant finally started production early on Tuesday after the two sides signed a wage pact during discussions that started at 2 pm on Monday and ended only at 7 am on Tuesday. Haryana labour department officials were present at the talks.

Plagued by workers’ unrest and the dip in production by over 50 per cent, HMSI had recently threatened to shut its scooter plant at Industrial Model Township, Manesar and move to an alternate location. The plant employs 5,000 workers. The company had sought the state government’s intervention in the matter.

Workers had resorted to go-slow tactics since August 31, causing the company losses worth a couple of crores, sources said.

State government officials said efforts were on to end the labour crises at auto component factories owned by Rico Auto Industries and Sunbeam Casting as well.

“Our third production line has finally started functioning after we entered into an amicable pact with our workers. Production would now go on at full swing,” said Harbhajan Singh of HMSI.

All 5,000 workers, including 1,850 regular ones, had stayed away from work on October 20 and joined the shutdown call given by All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).

Deputy labour commissioner J.S. Thakur said the HMSI Employees Union had put up its general demand notice for pay revision on July 1 but resorted to a go-slow from August 31.

“Negotiations between the management and workers were on for the last two months, but nothing came of them,” he said.

According to the terms and conditions of the pact, HMSI would increase of Rs 4,400 in the fixed component of a worker’s salary in next three years, he added.